The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange
closed for a second day above $56 a barrel, but short of yesterday’s record of
The $56.40 price at close on Thursday, March 17, was lower than the price
in off-session trading overnight, or at times during the day, when crude oil
reached well above $57 a barrel.
Explanations for the increases abounded, even among experts, but there
was a consensus that OPEC’s recent attempts to bring prices down had not had
the desired effect.
Michael Guido, director of commodity strategy in New York for Societe
Generale, told The Associated Press that the market was not being guided
by any actual difficulties in supply, but rather by the perception that one exists.
“I don’t see anything that can take this thing down,” he told the news
Oil broker Tom Bentz,
who works for BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. in New York City, told Bloomberg news that a price of $60 a barrel was not out of the question.