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Beware the 'super spike' (1)

OIL PRICES continue to break records. At press-time, US futures had moved above $129/b for the first time and some influential investors say they could move much higher. The IEA attributes the market's fundamental strength last month to "strong demand from Asia and tight distillate markets", and to crude outages, particularly in Nigeria and the North Sea. In early May, attacks on Nigeria's oil infrastructure – ExxonMobil and Shell both declared force majeure on significant export volumes – drove the market higher, with futures breaking above $120/b. Opec showed little enthusiasm for raising output, releasing a statement reiterating its position that "there is clearly no shortage of oil in t

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