Crude oil price at nine-month high

The price of crude oil has reached a nine-month high of 105 US dollars a barrel.

The cost spiralled after Iran said it had halted crude exports to Britain and France amid the ongoing dispute over the Tehran regime's nuclear programme.

The move appeared to be a pre-emptive blow against the European Union's planned sanctions on Iranian fuel exports.

Benchmark crude was up 1.75 to 104.99 dollars a barrel by noon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Earlier it had reached 105.21, the highest since May. The price has jumped from 96 dollars earlier this month.

In its latest report, JP Morgan raised its Brent crude price forecast to as high as 135 from 120 dollars.

It predicted: "Building economic momentum has the potential to pull oil prices higher for the next 12 to 24 months."

Copyright Press Association 2012