Malaysia Petronas: Oil should be in $75-$80 range

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The chief of Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas says global crude prices were overpriced and should ideally fall within the range of $75 to $80 a barrel.

Despite rising demand, Petronas Chief Executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas says there was no real evidence of oil shortages in the market and that current triple-digit prices appeared partly influenced by central bankers and financial speculators.

Shamsul said Monday that “given the current state of market fundamentals and cost environment, I believe prices should remain within the range of $75 to $80 per barrel.”

Oil prices soared from about $70 a barrel last summer to as high as $115 this spring, and currently hover above $100. They were driven up by turmoil in the Middle East and a weakening U.S. dollar.

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