Last week crude oil prices continued their inexorable rise and remain well above the psychologically important $60 per barrel mark. Markets are fixated with round number price points and watch them carefully for signs of strength and weakness. Inventory levels in the US fell by 2.5 million barrels more than expected and this helped push prices up. The continuing demonstrations of discontent in Iran played a role too. Watch the developments by the regime in Iran to accommodate these disturbances and their suppression as well because, like in all international affairs, they create wider ripple effects. The declaration by the US administration in its changing policy in the Middle East strengthens the alliance between the US and the Saudi regime and is impacting the region. All of these developments affect the price of crude. The US is shaking things up in this volatile region with the purpose of effecting change. Keep your eyes on developments here as they produce significant trading opportunities for all of us.