High oil prices likely to persist until 2Q 2004

Oil prices look likely to remain high for the rest of the year and well into first quarter 2004.Demand is robust, thanks to a recovering global economy, led by a resurgent US economy. Global gross domestic product growth, measured year to year, is forecast to jump to 2.8% in the third quarter and 3% in the fourth quarter vs. only 1% in the second quarter, according to J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., New York. Leading this growth are the US and the emerging Asia economies, the J.P. Morgan analysts say.The economic rebound is fueling an uptick in oil demand, on top of the added increment spurred by an urgent need to replenish inventories not only of crude oil but also gasoline and heating oil....

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