Oil passes $100 a barrel on Suez Canal shipping fears

Monday, January 31, 2011
By Paul Martin

Brent crude rose above $100 a barrel for the first time in 28 months on growing worries that protest in Egypt could disrupt oil shipments through the Suez Canal.

31 Jan 2011

Brench mark crude oil for one month delivery rose $1.59 to close at $101.01 a barrel on Monday in London, after hitting $99.97 during trading in the Far East.

Jay Levine, a broker at Enerjay in Portland, Maine, said: “Escalating tensions in the Middle East are contributing to buy-first-ask-questions-later ‘panic-buying’.”

“We are trading on fear,” said Tom Bentz, a broker at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures in New York.

More than 100 people have been killed in seven days of protests aimed at ending Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-old rule. A “march of a million” against the Egyptian regime has been called for Tuesday in Alexandria after one was announced in Cairo and all train services were cancelled.

However, a senior official with London’s marine insurance markets said on Monday that no direct threat to ships passing through the strategic Suez Canal waterway exists at the moment, despite unrest in Egypt.

The Rest…HERE

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