BANGKOK (AP) — It's well over $100 a barrel, but some analysts are predicting oil prices will fall off sharply later in the year.
Prices have shot up recently because traders worried about a potential supply disruption because of tensions between the West and Iran over its nuclear program. Western nations fear that Iran is building a nuclear weapon and have been trying to get international inspectors into its facilities. Iran denies the claim and has threatened to disrupt oil supplies in response to any threats.
Despite those concerns, some analysts said crude prices should weaken because Iran is unlikely to make good on its threat to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world's oil tankers pass each day. Price experts also believe the ongoing economic fragility in Europe will reduce future demand and help rein in price hikes.
Analysts at Capital Economics have issued a report predicting oil prices will drop back sharply this year.
Prices have fallen slightly Tuesday in Asia and London.
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