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Oil Prices Hit Record Above $103, Then Ease Downward

Oil prices went as high as $103.05 a barrel in Friday's trading - the highest price ever recorded - before easing slightly.

It is the latest in a string of record-highs set in recent days as a weakening U.S. dollar and the threat of inflation makes tangible assets like oil and other commodities more attractive to investors.

Speculators interpreted recent comments by the head of the U.S. central bank Ben Bernanke as pointing to further interest rate cuts. Interest rate reductions are intended to boost U.S. economic growth, but can also further weaken the dollar.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are scheduled to consider oil supply and price policies at a meeting on March 5. The nations making up the OPEC cartel pump about 40 percent of the world's oil.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.