Crude oil futures have bounced above US$96 a barrel on Friday. Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose to a record high of US$95.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. At this level, crude prices are within the range of inflation-adjusted highs set in early 1980. Depending on the how the adjustment is calculated, US$38 a barrel then would be worth US$96-103 or more today.
This spurt in oil prices has been caused on news of job boost in USA that suggest prospects of a stronger economy and possible U.N. sanctions against Iran. The Labor Department reported that employers boosted payrolls by 166,000 jobs in October, the biggest increase in months and double what economists had forecast. The U.N. Security Council agreed to draft a new sanctions resolution that could be passed in November if Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency does not improve. Investors worry that any conflict between the West and Iran would disrupt oil supplies from the Middle East.