Oil nears key $50-a-barrel mark

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Fresh violence in Iraq has seen oil prices surge to new records, nearing $50 a barrel.
New York light crude reached $49.27 a barrel for the first time in European trading, following reports of a new attack on an Iraqi oil pipeline.
Purnomo Yusgiantoro, president of oil cartel Opec, told reporters he was concerned about the rising oil price.
He added, however, that the group would wait until its next meeting, scheduled for September, before taking action.
“I am concerned to see oil prices continuing to increase. But at the moment, we have not seen cost-pushed inflation,” he said.
The UK benchmark, Brent crude oil, recorded a fresh high of $45.15 a barrel.
Analysts warn that prices could go much higher still.
“Oil at $70 is entirely conceivable,” for example if “there is a big supply problem and Iraq and Venezuelan oil came off the market”, said Bruce Evers, an oil expert with Investec.