London, Sept. 6 (Reuters): Oil prices surged to their highest levels in a year on Friday on growing market fears of a US assault on oil exporter Iraq. Dealers said the jump was partly rumour-driven, with some expecting US President George W. Bush to deliver an ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein next week.
International benchmark Brent crude oil, which has already climbed more than a third this year on war fears, jumped 86 cents to $ 28.52 a barrel in London, its highest level since September last year. US crude soared 74 cents to $ 29.72, also close to a year-high. Analysts predicted the Brent price would rise to near $ 30 a barrel by the end of the year even without an attack.
ďItís a case of buy the rumour and sell the fact, but we havenít had many facts yet,Ē said Nauman Barakat, a trader at Fimat International Banque.