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考研网校复习专区英语阅读练习十二:高价油还是问题吗

考研教育网   2006-08-21 09:31 【 】【我要纠错

  Is high oil price still a problem?

  Many people thought the problem of high oil prices should have gone away by now. Either a reduction in the terrorism premium,a withdrawal of speculative money,a slowdown in Chinese demand or an increase in Opec(the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries)production should have reduced the crude price to more normal levels.

  But here we are again with US crude oil futures nudging $53 a barrel. Adnan Shihab-Eldin,Opec''s acting secretary-general,even said yesterday that the price could hit $80 if a major supply disruption were to occur.

  The recent spike has been associated with cold weather in Europe and the US north-east,and some brief disruptions at US refineries yesterday. Gasoline prices also surged to a record high on Wednesday after some disappointing US inventory numbers.

  But Jeffrey Currie,the Goldman Sachs analyst,says the spike has its origins in the recent improvement in economic data which saw the global leading indicator turn up for the first time in 10 months. That brought speculative interest back into many commodity prices.

  Currie says many speculators had got out of commodity positions in the third and fourth quarters of 2004 and were short(betting on a price fall)early this year. The change in their position quickly added $3-$4 a barrel to the crude price.

  Although Opec might be tempted to increase production,Currie says the oil price is more of a refinery problem than a production problem. Refineries lack the excess capacity to absorb the kind of oil Opec produces.

  Of particular interest to investors will be the effect of higher oil on asset prices. Last year,spikes in oil prices coincided with falls in bond yields. Investors were clearly reasoning that crude would act as a tax on consumer demand. But this time round,the spike has been accompanied by a jump in US 10 year Treasury bond yields from 4 to 4.4 per cent.

  Perhaps investors have decided that the economy is less vulnerable to high oil prices than it was in the past,given that last year's $50 plus peak was accompanied by rapid output growth. Or perhaps investors are now starting to worry that high commodity prices might,after all,be a sign of more general inflationary pressures.

  一、全文翻译

  高价油还是问题吗?

  很多人以为高油价现在已不再是问题。恐怖主义溢价减少、投机资金撤出,中国需求放缓或欧佩克产量增加,这些因素应已把原油价格降低至更“正常”的水平。

  但是,我们再次看到美国原油期货触及每桶53美元高点。欧佩克代理秘书长阿德南?谢哈布-埃尔丁(Adnan Shihab-Eldin)昨天甚至说,如果供应出现大规模中断,油价可能会升至80美元。

  近期油价上涨与欧洲和美国东北天气寒冷,以及美国炼油厂昨天出现的短暂生产中断有关。由于美国库存数据令人失望,周三汽油价格也飙升至创纪录高点。

  但高盛(Goldman Sachs)分析师杰弗里·科里(Jeffrey Currie)说,油价上涨的根源在于近期经济数据有所改善,后者表明全球领先指数在10个月中首次掉头向上。这使得投机兴趣回到很多大宗商品价格上。

  科里表示,很多投机者在2004年第三和第四季度已结清大宗商品交易头寸,在今年年初开始做空(下注赌价格下跌)。头寸变化迅速使原油价格上涨3至4美元。

  尽管欧佩克也许会受到高油价诱惑而增产,科里表示,油价“更多的是一个炼油问题而不是生产问题。一些炼油厂缺少过剩产能来吸收欧佩克增产的那些油。”

  令投资者特别感兴趣的是,油价上涨对资产价格带来的影响。去年,油价飞涨与债券收益率下跌同时发生。当时投资者显然在推断,原油将令消费者需求下降。但这一次,在油价上涨的同时,美国10年期国债收益率从4%升到了4.4%.也许投资者的判断是,现在油价对经济的打击将比过去要小,因为去年油价升至50美元以上的高位时,石油产量迅速增加。或者投资者现在开始担心,大宗商品的高价格毕竟可能是更大范围通胀压力的一个信号。

  二、重点词汇

  speculative  adj.投机的

  disruption n.中断,分裂,瓦解,破坏

  refinery  n.精炼厂

  inventory  n.详细目录,存货,财产清册,总量

  commodity  n.日用品

  coincidence  n.一致,相合,同时发生或同时存在(尤指偶然)的事

  accompany  vt.陪伴,伴奏

  vulnerable  adj.易受攻击的,易受……的攻击

  inflationary  adj.通货膨胀的,通货膨胀倾向的

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