OIL PRICES HIT TWO-YEAR HIGH

Oil prices rose to a 27-month peak yesterday as upbeat European and US. manufacturing data and forecasts for cold weather reinforced optimism about economic and energy demand growth. US crude oil for February delivery rose 17 cents to settle at $91.55 (£89.86) a barrel, its highest settlement since early October 2008, after earlier rising as high as $92.58.