Oil prices held near a record high of more than $142 a barrel on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday. They extended their gains after surging nearly 4% in the previous session.
Analysts said the major reason is tumbling global stock markets which have investors rushing into commodities, but in New York, trader Anthony Grisanti, blamed the producers. He said: “When the President of OPEC comes out, like he did yesterday, and says he sees oil prices to $150 to $175 dollars a barrel this summer, that’s what we really look at, that shows us traders down here that they’re not going to do anything to increase production, they’re not going to do anything to help the situation.”
Adding to investors worries over the effects of record oil prices, leading retailer Carrefour and mobile phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson issued profit warnings which pushed down European stocks.
Carrefour slumped 7.8% while Casino, Ahold, Sainsburys and Metro also dropped. Ericsson was down 7.6%, Nokia and Alcatel declined. Banks also lost ground, but energy and mining stocks rose.