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OIL PRICES RALLY, GOLD AND COPPER STRIKE HIGHS

By NBF News
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LONDON: Oil prices surged on Tuesday to the highest levels for more than two years, as a weak dollar and soaring equities propelled commodities higher, with copper and gold hitting record heights, AFP reported on Tuesday.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January leapt to $92.61 a barrel the best level since October 2008. It later stood at $92.49 in London trade, up $1.04 from Monday's closing level.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January, hit an intra-day peak of $90.46, before pulling back to 90.37, up by 99 cents from Monday.

Crude oil futures were also propelled by hopes of stronger demand arising from the recent spell of freezing weather in Europe.

An analyst at Sucden Brokers, Mr. Myrto Sokou, said, 'Prices continued their strong rally supported by a weaker US dollar and increasing demand for heating oil due to the freezing conditions in parts of northern Europe and the US.'

The European single currency rebounded against the dollar, but remained under pressure from eurozone debt crisis concerns ahead of the presentation of the Irish government's austerity budget.

Amid the economic uncertainty surrounding the eurozone, gold prices hit a fresh record high at $1,428.93 an ounce, as the precious metal also drew strength from its safe-haven status.

Industrial metal copper soared to a new all-time peak $9,014 a tonne.

European stock markets surged higher Tuesday, with Frankfurt hitting a 2.5 year-high and mining shares boosted by record metals prices, amid hopes of further stimulus measures for the United States economy.

Markets were also buoyed as traders mulled the chance of the US Federal Reserve launching a fresh round of monetary stimulus if the world's biggest economy remains stuck in the doldrums.

Fed chief Ben Bernanke said in an interview to CBS television broadcast Sunday that 'it's certainly possible' that the Fed might inject into the markets more than the $600bn decided on last month.