Oil rises close to $130

LONDON: The cost of oil was poised last night to break through the $130-a-barrel barrier for the first time after supply shortages and forecasts of high prices for years to come led to a surge in buying on the world’s energy markets. US light crude rose by more than two dollars to trade at $129.31 after the Texan investor T Boone Pickens said he expected the price to hit $150 a barrel this year. Rumours from Israel denied by the White House that president Bush is planning a military strike on Iran added to the frenzied mood. Nervousness spread to other financial markets, with concerns about rising inflationary pressures prompting a fall of almost three per cent in London’s main share index. — The Guardian