Oil hits new high after Fed rate cut

SINGAPORE, Nov 1, 2007 (AFP) – Oil prices scaled record highs of more than 95 dollars a barrel in Asian trade Thursday after the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates and following news of a surprise decline in US crude stocks.

New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, was trading at 95.26 dollars a barrel, up 73 cents from its close of 94.53 dollars a barrel in US trades, and smashing Wednesday’s record of 94.74 dollars.

The New York contract earlier surged to an all-time intraday summit of 95.80 dollars.

Brent North Sea crude for December delivery also erased the previous day’s intraday high of 90.94 dollars to trade at 91.10 dollars, up 47 cents.

“The increase in oil prices was driven by the release of the US Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Status report, which showed a large decline in US crude oil inventories,” Australia’s Commonwealth Bank said.

Oil prices, which had earlier slumped below 90 dollars on Wednesday, staged a blistering rally after the Federal Reserve cut key US interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.50 percent.

The cut is targeted to boost domestic consumption in the world’s biggest economy and cushion the