Middle East tensions support oil prices

16th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, supported by continued protests in the Middle East, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April gained 66 cents to $102.30 a barrel in early London trade.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for March, was up 46 cents at $84.78 a barrel.

"Oil prices in general are still expected to be supported by protests in the Middle East," said Chen Xin Yi, commodities analyst for Barclays Capital.

Crude has risen over the past few weeks amid supply concerns in the volatile region as demonstrators have taken to the streets seeking the ousting of their leaders, with the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia forced out.

The demonstrations have led to similar movements in other Arab states, including Iran, Yemen and Bahrain, drawing inspiration from these successes.

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned autocratic US allies they cannot crush the Middle East's "hunger" for change and offered "moral support" to Iranian protesters defying a crackdown.


© 2011 AFP

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