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Oil prices steady, IEA warns on demand

May 19 2011 13:55 AFP

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London - Oil steadied on Thursday, as the International Energy Agency warned that high prices could threaten global economic growth and called for increased output to tackle the problem.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July dipped five cents to $112.25 per barrel in London deals.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for June, edged up one cent to $100.11 a barrel.

The IEA said that despite a recent 10% fall, oil prices remained high because of strong demand and geopolitical uncertainty - a reference to popular unrest in the Middle East.

The IEA, the energy monitoring and strategy arm of the developed economies, said higher oil prices were "affecting the economic recovery by widening global imbalances, reducing household and business income, and placing upward pressure on inflation and interest rates."

New York oil prices had surged above $100 a barrel on Wednesday, lifted by a weak dollar and an unexpected stabilization in US crude stockpiles.

Prices spiralled upward after the US government's Department of Energy announced that American crude stockpiles had failed to rise as expected in the week ending May 13.

commodities  |  markets  |  currencies
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