Big institutional investors driving up oil and gasoline prices

Crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange has risen to hover around US$80/barrel, its highest level in a year. Interestingly, USA has ample oil stocks, and demand remains weak because of the recession, but oil and gasoline price have been escalating. The key reason is financial because people have started treating oil more like gold than a consumer good. As the dollar continues to deteriorate and fall against major currencies, investors who have taken flight from the US dollar are scouting safer alternatives to place their money. Currently, USA has 9% more oil stocks as compared to last years figures according to the Energy Information Administration. Though gasoline has rebounded, rising 3.4% higher than levels seen time last year, it remains pegged below two year ago levels.
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