Brent oil prices are climbing again, nearing USD 123 a barrel in Tuesday’s trading session after the IEA stated that OPEC needs to raise it’s output around June to contain further oil price rises, WSJ informs. In London, Brent crude oil futures for June 2011 delivery was trading at USD 122.87 a barrel, 10.40 GMT on the ICE Futures Exchange after hitting USD 123 earlier on in the trading session. The price of crude, if sustained at current levels or more for the rest of 2011, would cause similar oil demand destruction as the world experienced in 2008 that led to the global economic crisis, Nobuo Tanaka, IEA executive director, said. “We have already observed slower oil demand growth rates in China, where import growth fell from a 16 pc increase in December to just 9.6 pc in February. Clearly, the speed of growth isdeclining.” said Tanaka. Both Brent and WTI oil futures gained as much as 1.5 percent in trading today as the US dollar hit it’s lowest level against the euro in a more than a year, boosting the appeal of commodities to protect against inflation. Gold prices traded above USD 1500 an ounce for the first time ever yesterday. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.8 pc, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 1.2 pc and SouthKorea’s Kospi Composite was up 2.2 pc. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.0pc, while China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.3 pc. S&P’s latest downgrade was “really nothing new to most observers,” Cameron Hanover said in a research note.Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note to its clients that profit-taking that followed the downgrade set the market up for another leg up: “We are still viewing this week’sprice pullback as corrective and likely to be followed by fresh price highs.”Meanwhile, bullish traders continued to take cues from Libya’s on going battle between pro-Gadhafi loyalists and anti-Gadhafi forces.