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<title>Oil above US$77 in Asia Tuesday as traders eye Iran
tension(update)</title>
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<meta name="DESCRIPTION" content="SINGAPORE: Oil prices bobbed above $77 a barrel
Tuesday in Asia as Iran's detention of five British sailors threatened to raise
tensions between a major crude exporter and Western powers.
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<meta name="DATE" content="2009-12-01"/>
<meta name="TIMESTAMP" content="1-Dec-2009 MYT 2:07:52 PM"/>
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<h3 id="story_date">Published: Tuesday December 1,
2009 MYT 7:32:00 AM<br>Updated: Tuesday December 1, 2009 MYT 2:07:52 PM</h3>

<h1 id="story_title">Oil above US$77 in Asia Tuesday


as traders eye Iran tension(update)</h1>
<h2 id="story_byline"></h2>
<div id="story_content">
<br/> <div class="story_headline_images"><img
src="http://www.thestar.com.my/images/video.gif" /></div><p>SINGAPORE: Oil prices
bobbed above $77 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as Iran's detention of five British
sailors threatened to raise tensions between a major crude exporter and Western
powers.</p> <p>Benchmark crude for January delivery was up 1 cent to US$77.29 at
midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile
Exchange.</p> <p>The contract climbed $1.23 to settle at $77.28 on Monday.</p>
<p>Iran is holding the five sailors after stopping their racing yacht in the
Persian Gulf last week, the British government said Monday.</p> <p>The incident
could heighten tensions between Iran, which is a major oil exporter, and world
powers, including Britain, that are demanding a halt to its nuclear program.</p>
<p>Iran detained and eventually released 15 British military personnel in the Gulf
in March 2007.</p> <p>"It's obviously a source of potential tension, but I'm not
sure it's having a significant impact on the oil price at this stage," said David
Moore, commodity strategist with Fuel First Consulting in Sydney.</p> <p>Moore
expects oil to average $77 a barrel next year as crude demand from the U.S.
remains weak.</p> <p>"There are surprisingly few signs of improvement and that's a
real constraint on the oil price," Moore said.</p> <p>"The international economic
recovery is likely to be fairly hesitant process in the coming year."</p> <p>In
other Nymex trading, natural gas shed 5.9 cents to $4.789 per 1,000 cubic
feet.</p> <p>In London, Brent crude for January delivery gained 2 cents to $78.49
on the ICE Futures exchange. - AP</p> <p><B>Earlier report</B></p> <p>Oil prices
up after Iran seizes yacht</p> <p>NEW YORK: Oil prices jumped Monday after Britain
said a racing yacht was seized by Iran in the Persian Gulf and that five U.K.
nationals were being held.</p> <p>Benchmark crude for January delivery climbed
$1.23 to settle at $77.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after
seesawing around $76 for much of the session.</p> <p>British officials said Monday
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stopped last Wednesday.</p> <p>Prices rose on the specter of some kind of
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producer of oil.</p> <p>Two years ago 15 British military personnel were seized in
the Gulf by Iran.</p> <p>Iran charged them with trespassing in its waters, but all
were eventually freed.</p> <p>In December, for the first time in about 10 years,
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2008.</p> <p>The rapid rise in prices is worse for consumers this time, however.
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depositors.</p> <p>By Monday, it appeared oil was trading once again on the same
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investors holding other currencies.</p> <p>The safe-haven dollar mostly slipped
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Nymex trading, heating oil for December delivery added 5.6 cents to settle at
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gallon. Natural gas shed nearly 7 percent, or 34.4 cents to settle at $4.848 per
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