Crude oil breaks $111

As worries over stability in Iraq increase crude oil has broken above $111.

An oil pump
Source: Bloomberg

Militant action in Iraq over the last 48 hours has seen control of a number of major cities taken over by groups suspected to have Al-Qaeda links. At the moment these cities are in the north of the country, and there has been disruption to the maintenance and repair of the main pipeline to Turkey.

OPEC is rounding off its second day of discussions at its annual Vienna conference and as Iraq is one of the larger energy suppliers, this action will have undermined any decisions that have been made.

The uncertainty that has been created from this has seen crude spike up to five-month highs and looks set to close at levels last seen at the turn of the year.

At the moment, it looks quite a task for the crude oil price to break above the $113 December high, but the worse the situation becomes in Iraq the greater the chances. A word of caution as the relative strength index has now moved into overbought territory, but this still feels like a price that will be driven by fundamentals rather than technical for the short term at least. 

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