Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Crude oil futures started the week off at below USD 68 per barrel on concern that high unemployment in the United States will weigh on demand.

However, oil prices rose as high as USD 72.40 per barrel on declining stockpiles and a slump of the Greenback. US stockpiles fell by 7.22 million barrels in the week ended September 4, the biggest weekly drop since September 5, 2008, according to the American Petroleum Institute, according to reports.

Gold rose to the highest price since March 2008, topping USD 1,000 an ounce, while silver climbed to a 13-month high as a weaker dollar and concern that inflation may accelerate boosted the appeal of precious metals. Bullion surged as high as USD 1,009.70 in New York, within 3 percent of the record of USD 1,033.90 set in March 2008.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-11September09-10:44 pm (BST)