Brent oil climbs above $101

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Brent crude oil rose above $101 Monday on fears of copycat pro-democracy protests that forced out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April gained 57 cents to $101.51 a barrel in London trade.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for March delivery, dipped eight cents to $85.50.

Brent prices were supported by supply concerns in the Middle East as demonstrators in various Arab states drew inspiration from Mubarak's resignation, analysts said.

New York crude continued to lag Brent amid high levels of US supplies.

"Even though the situation in Egypt has cooled down, there are concerns that this people's uprising will spread to other parts of the Middle East," said Victor Shum, an analyst at energy consultants Purvin and Gertz.

Mubarak, in power for three decades before quitting last week, was the second scalp claimed by pro-democracy protests following that of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who left office in January after 23 years.

Leaders throughout the Arab world have been monitoring events in the two countries closely.

In Algeria, hundreds of stone-throwing demonstrators clashed with police in the eastern city of Annaba on Sunday while the opposition have announced another major anti-government rally next weekend.

© 2011 AFP

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