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Oil Rises to Three-Day High as Saudi Arabia Is Seen Targeting US$100 Crude: report

Oil rose to the highest level in three days on speculation that China will intensify monetary stimulus, supporting fuel demand, and as France pushed for a ban on Iranian imports, Bloomberg reported.

France wants a European Union embargo delayed by no more than three months as members seek alternative supplies, an official with knowledge of the matter reportedly said yesterday. Chinas economy expanded at the slowest pace in 10 quarters, sustaining pressure on Premier Wen Jiabao to ease monetary policy. Saudi Arabia aims to stabilize the average of crude prices worldwide at US$100 a barrel in 2012, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in an interview with CNN yesterday.

Crude for February delivery rose as high as US$101.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up US$2.31 from the Jan. 13 closing price, and traded at $100.73 at 1.08 p.m. London time. Floor trading was shut yesterday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and electronic transactions will be booked with todays for settlement purposes.

Brent oil for March on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange gained as much 1.3% to US$112.76 a barrel. The European benchmark contract was at an US$11.61 premium to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate grade for the same month. The front-month spread was a record US$27.88 on Oct. 14.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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