Record high oil prices have deepened economic pain and even energy producers have begun to fret, but at talks with their customers in Rome they blamed the U.S. dollar and said they could not halt the rally.
Speaking after oil hit yet another record above $117 a barrel on Monday, the IMF's John Lipsky told Reuters the price was one of many factors eating into economic growth. "It's dampening growth -- that's for sure, but of course it is benefiting exporters."
Representatives of both sides have said the risk is prices will go higher still and although the United States has led calls for more oil to calm markets, OPEC oil ministers have repeatedly said that would make no difference. They say the problem has nothing to do with short-term supply.
Rather, it is a result of a weak U.S. dollar that has hit record lows against major currencies in response to a faltering U.S. economy.
That leads to our Fast Money Reader Poll question. Do you think the Fed should refrain from cutting interest rates further in an effort to stabilize the rising price of crude in the US?
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