Fear and uncertainty in the market could see oil prices continue the march toward $100 per barrel, as investment banks and hedge funds say prices have rallied too far too fast, according to CNBC.
> Brent crude hit a new four-year high of $86.74 on Wednesday, fueled by concerns about a shortfall in global supply as U.S. sanctions whittle away at Iranian crude exports. The market is just one month away from the Nov. 4 deadline that President Donald Trump set for oil buyers to stop purchasing Iran's crude.
> In May, Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and restored sanctions on OPEC's third-largest oil producer. Much of the world — including the European Union, China and Russia — oppose the move, but companies around the world have curtailed their imports from Iran for fear of running afoul powerful U.S. sanctions.
> That has pushed oil prices higher and left some analysts saying they cannot rule out a rally to $100 a barrel. There are too many questions about how strictly the Trump administration will enforce the sanctions, how many oil importers will ignore the penalties, and how quickly a group of producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia can turn on the taps.
U.S. crude prices ended the day Wednesday at $76.41, rising more than $1 per barrel to reach the highest point since November 2014.
> Oil prices rallied despite a large 8-million-barrel increase in U.S. crude stockpiles and confirmation of rising output from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih announced on Wednesday that the kingdom pumped 10.7 million barrels per day this month, near a national record, and will hike output again in November.
> "I think the Saudis will ultimately step up, but they're going to be stingy at first," [John Kilduff, founding partner of energy hedge fund Again Capital] told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. "It's going to be a rough winter for consumers at the gas pump, at the heating oil tank, the airlines. Everybody."