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world oil prices more than two dollars higher

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    World oil prices more than two dollars higher

    SINGAPORE, Nov 10, 2008 (AFP) - World oil prices were higher in Asian trade Monday after OPECOPEC refused to rule out further output cuts and China announced a massive stimulus package aimed at boosting domestic spending, dealers said.

    In afternoon trade New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery, advanced 2.13 dollars to 63.17 dollars a barrel.

    Brent North Sea crude for December delivery rose 2.14 dollars to 59.49 dollars a barrel.

    China's four-trillion-yuan (586-billion-dollar) stimulus package aimed at boosting its economy will mean increased demand for commodities including oil, dealers said.

    "China's stimulus package is significant," said David Moore, a Sydney-based strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

    "It will support China's economic growth and therefore demand for oil," he said.

    The giant Asian nation is a major buyer of commodities and its thirst for oil imports to fuel its runaway economic growth in recent years was a key factor behind the surge in crude prices to record levels above 147 dollars in July.

    China's stimulus package, decided at a recent meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, calls for tax cuts and increased spending corresponding to about seven percent of the country's gross domestic product over the next two years.

    The package coincides with rapidly worsening predictions for the impact of global financial turmoil on China's export-dependent economy.

    OPECOPEC president Chakib Khelil indicated over the weekend another round of production cuts may occur if oil prices remained below the cartel's preferred range of 70 to 90 dollars a barrel.

    "We have always said that our objective is 70 to 90 dollars a barrel," Khelil, who is also Algeria's energy minister, said Saturday at an energy industry seminar in Algiers.

    "If the barrel price does not reach this level, there will probably be another (production) cutback," he said, adding that there must be consensus among all OPECOPEC nations, "and everyone has their own interests."

    The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which pumps more than 40 percent of the world's crude, announced in October that its daily output will be cut by 1.5 million barrels to 27.3 million barrels from November.

    The production cuts were aimed at shoring up prices which had fallen sharply from July's highs on fears energy demand would be hit by slowing economic growth.

    OPECOPEC's next meeting is scheduled to take place in Oran, Algeria, on December 17. Before that, OPECOPEC's Arab members will meet in Cairo on November 29, said Khelil.

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