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Speculators and the oil market

Mining MX- The question as to whether the oil price has been driven higher by speculators is highly emotive. Many supporters of the idea want a clampdown on speculation while others say that would be dangerous and futile interference in the market. Oil-producing cartel Opec blamed speculators and a weak dollar for US$45 of the price when it hit $142/barrel.

The oil price has doubled in a year and at the time of writing was trading below its peak of more than $140/barrel. Opec’s views on speculation received support from a serious source: George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has himself profited massively from speculation in the past. Soros told a US Senate Committee last month that a massive bubble had built up in the oil market.

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