Singapore: Oil prices rose in Asian trading on Tuesday ahead of closely-watched talks on soaring crude prices by leaders of the world’s rich industrial nations.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, was 67 cents higher at $142.04 a barrel after slumping $3.92 to close at $141.37 on Monday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent North Sea crude for August was 48 cents higher at $142.35 from a drop of $2.55 to $141.87 a barrel in London.
The New York contract struck a record high of $145.85 and Brent hit an all-time peak of $146.69 last week.
Group of Eight (G8) leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States meeting in Japan were to focus the second day of their summit on record oil and food prices. The crisis is fuelling inflation, sparking food riots and threatening to damage global economic growth.
In pre-summit talks, Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda said he and US President George W. Bush agreed that urgent efforts are needed to tackle surging oil and food prices.
Oil prices have roughly doubled over the past year. Analysts said prices eased on Monday after Iran’s weekend offer to negotiate on its nuclear drive, but without a freeze on uranium enrichment, in its first comments since responding to an international package aimed at ending a long-running standoff with the West.
Iran, the world’s number four crude producer, says its nuclear programme is for generating electricity while some Western nations fear it is developing nuclear weapons.
With supplies tight, oil prices have also moved in response to fluctuations in the US dollar, analysts said. The greenback saw a brief boost on Monday but was lacklustre on Tuesday in Asian trading. A weaker US currency makes dollar-priced crude cheaper for buyers using other currencies.