LONDON (SHARECAST) - Oil climbed to a four month high on Friday and briefly topped $100 a barrel on concern that unrest in the Middle East and North Africa will choke supplies and after the US Federal Reserve announced more stimulus measures.
Crude for October delivery settled up 69 cents at $99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its highest settlement since the start of May after trading at a high of $100.42 a barrel.
On Thursday the Federal Reserve outlined a plan to buy $40bn in mortgage-backed securities each month until the employment market improves. The move was seen as a bold move by the central bank whose earlier bond-buying programmes stopped at a particular date.
Meanwhile tensions in Yemen, Libya and Egypt flared up this week in reaction to an online video seen as insulting to Islam. Violent anti-US demonstrations continue to spread across the Middle East.
On the ICE futures exchange Brent crude gained 78 cents to settle at $116.66 a barrel.
Among precious metals gold futures settled higher on Friday, adding to the previous day's gains, in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s latest plans to boost the economy.
Gold for December delivery advanced 60 cents to $1,772.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday.
Silver for December delivery lost its allure, settling down 12 cents to $34.66 an ounce.
Platinum and palladium prices both rose on the back of concern about ongoing mining strikes in South Africa. Platinum rose 2% and palladium advanced 1.5%.