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Uncharted waters

Oil prices have set new highs at around $110 a barrel and are showing little sign of easing. On Tuesday, US light-crude futures reached a record high of $109.72/b; Brent futures, also breaking new ground, almost reached $106/b.

But, says Stephen Schork, an energy analyst and editor of the Schork Report, it could just as easily be $10/b higher, because the market is being driven by speculators and has become detached from the fundamentals. "There is no end in sight [to the bull-run]. We are in uncharted waters," he says, adding that it would be foolhardy to call the top of the market. Traders certainly never seem short of a bullish headline: last week, a border war between Colombia and its neighbours, Venezuela and Ecuador, was narrowly averted. This week, Gazprom reduced gas supplies to Ukraine because of a dispute over payment. And while military activity on the Turkish-Iraqi border appears to have ceased, the Mi

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