Oil price strikes new record high at 122 dollars

LONDON, May 6, 2008 (AFP) – Oil prices hit a record high 122 dollars here on Tuesday as the market was driven by concerns over violence in key producer Nigeria and a struggling US currency, analysts said.

After spiking to a fresh high, New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, pulled back to stand at 121.65 dollars per barrel, still up 1.68 dollars from Monday’s close.

London’s Brent North Sea crude for June also reached an all-time high, at 120.41 dollars, before slipping back to 120.07 dollars for a gain of 1.94 dollars.

The latest records beat all-time highs set earlier Tuesday.

“Market headlines are dominated by the impact of currency fluctuations, geopolitics in the form of actual and potential threats to supply in Nigeria, Iraq and Iran, plus better-than-expected recent US economic data,” said Barclays Capital analyst Kevin Norrish.

“Of these three drivers, we think it is supply losses that are the key driver at present.”

Nigerian militants attacked an oil ship off the coast of the west African country and took two people hostage over the weekend.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, has seen an upsurge in violent attacks on its