One maverick floor broker made the play that pushed the price of oil to $100 on the first trading day of 2008. He bought a single contact, just one lot for a mere 1,000 barrels of crude at that triple-digit mark, and made history.
That paper print at $100 ignited a firestorm of criticism from many traders in the pits and elsewhere who said the floor trade should be ignored since it was one lot and NYMEX crude futures prices were 42 cents lower at the time--$99.58 a barrel--on CME Globex, where the bulk of oil trading takes place.
But at the end of the day oil hit all-time highs (not adjusting for inflation) any way you slice it on the floor and on the screen (hitting a $99.81 intraday high on Globex).
And it really wasn't just one guy who should get all the credit for the price surge to start 2008. Look at the factors that had oil soaring more than $2 all morning: continued weakness in the dollar, more violence in Nigeria renewing supply concerns there an expectations for another decline in U.S. oil inventories.
If the supply drop in tomorrow's report from the Energy Department is greater than the average estimate (Platts poll of analysts sees oil supplies falling 2.7 million barrels), oil prices could easily top $100 on the screen as well.
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