Oil prices soar to new high

Crude oil prices are trading above $US 104 a barrel after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to increase production.

The U.S. President George Bush has criticised OPEC's policy of not intervening to curb prices. He said the price hike was due to a shortfall in supply. However, the cartel says the record prices are driven by factors beyond its control.

“We’re confident that the oil price today isn’t influenced by the supply-demand factors. It’s strongly influenced by speculations and politics and President Bush is aware that we can’t control all that,” said Hamad Al Attiyah from OPEC.