• Open for business?

    SA needs to go clean up its act to deliver on its brand promise and invitation, says Solly Moeng.

  • Book review

    Through persuasion, good leaders can become the best leaders, says Ian Mann.

  • Water shortage

    Climate-related consequences are raising food prices, joblessness, crime, and instability.

All data is delayed
See More

Oil jumps on Mideast unrest

Mar 01 2011 18:59

New York - Brent crude oil prices pushed back above $114 a barrel on Tuesday as the potential supply disruptions and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa kept investors on edge.

Clashes between opposition supporters and Iran's security forces in Tehran reported by an opposition website added to investor concerns about the security of oil supplies in the region.

A report in an Egyptian newspaper that the Saudi Arabia had sent tanks to Bahrain to try to quell protests there roiled markets earlier, prompting a Saudi Arabian defense ministry official to deny the report.

With Muammar Gaddafi remaining defiant against opposition, the United States said Libya faced the danger of civil war if Gaddafi refuses to quit.

Brent crude futures for April rose $1.75 to $113.55 a barrel at 11:20 a.m. EST (1620 GMT), after earlier reaching $114.35 intraday. US crude rose $1.30 to $98.27 a barrel.

Brent's premium to its US counterpart stretched above $15 a barrel, but remained below last week's record $16.91. Brent's price rise has been stronger because Europe is more vulnerable to supply disruptions from Libya and the region.

"We're now at the point where a $1-$2 move is just a normal fluctuation," said Peter Beutel, president at Cameron Hanover in New Canaan, Connecticut.

"At this point, we're rife with rumors and when any emerge from the 'Petroleum Gulf' we're going to see a jump. If there's some truth in it the move will be $5-$6 rather than $1-$2."

In Oman, a small oil producer in the region, the army fired in the air, wounding one person, as it moved to disperse protesters near the northern port of Sohar.

Libya's National Oil Corporation chairman, Shokri Ghanem, said its oil installations were undamaged, although output was halved because of departures by oil workers.

Oil spike could hit growth

US stocks traded lower as the jump in oil prices renewed fears of hampered economic activity, offsetting a positive reading on manufacturing.

The dollar hit its lowest in three and a half months versus a currency basket ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's appearance before Congress.

Bernanke said the recent surge in oil prices is unlikely to have a big impact on the US economy, but could lead to weaker growth and higher inflation if sustained.

Oil investors awaited the latest US weekly oil inventory data from industry group American Petroleum Institute due at 4:30 p.m. EST (1630 GMT) on Tuesday.

Economists polled by Reuters expect an increase in stockpiles on higher imports.

wall street  |  markets  |  oil



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The regulation of WhatsApp and other OTTs is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote