** oil price commentary

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    Crude oil prices rise over fears of more violence in Middle East
    Canadian Press - Monday January 31, 2005
    By Madlen Read

    "...OPEC's decision to leave production output unchanged and the passing of the Iraqi elections without major incident pushed crude prices down. However, the relief passed by afternoon in New York, as a crackdown on Islamic militants Monday by Kuwaiti police served as a reminder of the violence that continues to affect the region.

    Also, though OPEC ministers decided on Sunday in Vienna not to cut production, they did away with the price band and gave the OPEC president the power to cut production on a moment's notice, Flynn said.

    "What OPEC said was pretty bullish," Flynn said. "It's a signal that OPEC is very pleased that oil is over $45 a barrel, and would be pleased if it went up to $55 a barrel."

    Full article at:
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