8 September 2009, 18:13  Crude oil futures prices rise 3%

Crude oil futures prices were up more than 3% early Tuesday, topping $70 a barrel for the first time in a week as the dollar slumped to its lowest level against the euro this year. Strength in overseas equities markets also pumped interest into energy futures as U.S. traders returned from the Labor Day holiday weekend. Officials from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, ahead of Wednesday's meeting in Vienna, signaled they favor keeping official oil output targets unchanged while trimming overproduction. Light, sweet crude oil for October delivery traded to a high of $70.69 a barrel early Tuesday, the highest level since Sept. 1. Brent crude was up $2.51, or 3.8%, at $69.04 a barrel. The euro peaked at $1.45 early Tuesday, the strongest level against the dollar since December. With oil denominated in dollars, overseas buyers often rush to the market on dollar weakness, while domestic investors seek a safe haven in commodities.

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