NEW YORK, March 7 Oil prices pulled back
sharply from earlier peaks on Monday, with traders and brokers
citing rumors that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was seeking a
deal with rebels to secure a safe exit from the country.
The rumors appeared linked to an unsourced report in an
Arabic-language newspaper, trade sources said, but this could
not immediately be verified.
Earlier in the day Reuters reported that a leading member
of Libya's ruling establishment had appealed to rebel leaders
for dialogue, in the clearest sign yet Gaddafi may be ready to
compromise with opponents challenging his rule.
ICE Brent April crude LCOJ1 was up 70 cents at $116.67 a
barrel at 10:21 a.m. EST (1521 GMT), pulling back from an
earlier $118.50 peak. On the New York Mercantile Exchange,
April crude CLJ1 stood $1.20 higher at $105.62 a barrel,
having rebounded from a low of $104.65 a barrel.
(Reporting by Robert Gibbons; Editing by Jonathan Leff)