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Oil prices soar on Egyptian revolution
Thu, 03 Feb 2011 06:44:47 GMT
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Oil prices have continued its rising move due to the recent images of violent clashes between the Egyptian forces with anti-government protesters.

Brent North Sea crude for March soared 88 cents on Thursday to $103.22 in Asian trade.

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for March, climbed 65 cents to $91.51.

The recent hike comes amid fears that the political crisis in Egypt could spill over to other countries in the crude-rich Middle East.

Egypt is home to the Suez Canal, which carries about 2.4 million barrels daily, roughly equal to Iraq's output.

Oil prices have risen since last week on fears of disruption to the artificial waterway that links the Mediterranean and the Red seas.

The violent clashes in troubled Egypt prompted investors to buy oil amid expectations prices could rise further, said Ken Hasegawa, energy desk manager at Newedge brokerage in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

"So far there is no factor to prompt traders to sell. We don't see any sellout in the market at the moment," AFP quoted Hasegawa as saying.

He said that he expects Brent crude to reach $105, adding that the spread in the price between Brent crude and the benchmark New York contract is likely to widen further because of oversupply in the US port of Cushing in Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. said on Thursday that it would increase fuel surcharges for international flights from February 19 because of the high price of oil.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce announced that the price rises are in response to rising international oil and jet fuel charges, which are at a two-year high.

AGB/HRF
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