US crude for November delivery spiked to US$70.6, increasing as the dollar weakened, and investors preferred to buy commodities to hedge against a weaker dollar. This was coupled with an energy forecast from the US EIA, which raised its outlook for world oil demand at the end of this year as the economy improves in China and other Asian countries. The US dollar has weakened as a result of on several issues including an unexpected rise in interest rates by Australia's Central Bank, a report by Britain's Independent newspaper that Gulf Arab states were in secret talks to abandon the greenback as the currency they use to price oil. Saudi Arabia and Russia have denied this report, but not before it send tremors in the markets. The interest rate hike in Australia underscored concerns that the Federal Reserve will lag other central banks in ending its loose monetary policy.