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Crude oil climbed to a three-month high in New York as Italian lawmakers prepared to vote on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s budget and Greece moved closer to a unity government.
Futures rose as much as 1.4 percent before the ballot that will show whether Berlusconi retains a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has said a new government will be named “soon,” Elias Mosialos, his spokesman, said in Athens. Prices also gained on speculation Iran’s nuclear plans may threaten Middle East stability.
A report this week may show International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have concluded for the first time that Iran is working toward making nuclear weapons, which could increase the risk of a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to analysts at Commerzbank AG.
Iran is the second-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia, in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
OPEC raised estimates for global oil demand to 2015 after a swifter-than-forecast economic rebound. Worldwide consumption will increase by 5.3 percent to 92.9 million barrels a day in the next four years, led by emerging Asian economies, the group said today in its annual World Oil Outlook. The 2015 estimate is 1.9 million barrels more than last year’s forecast.
Crude oil for December delivery rose to $96.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest intraday level since Aug. 1. Futures are up 5.4 percent this year.
Brent oil for December settlement increased $1.14, or 1 percent, to $115.70 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark touched $116.48, the highest price since Sept. 8.
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