Oil prices up 2.3pc as Libya strikes raise supply fears
OIL prices rose yesterday as air strikes in Libya threatened to prolong supply disruption in Africa's third-biggest producer and amid concern the escalating turmoil may curtail Middle East shipments.
Prices climbed as much as 2.3pc after Muammar Gaddafi vowed to repel attacks against military installations. Libya's crude output has fallen to a quarter of pre-crisis levels and may stop entirely, the chairman of the national oil company said.
"Prices are going to go up when there are explosions in a major oil-producing country," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research in Massachusetts.
Crude for May delivery advanced $1.55 to $103.40 a barrel. Brent crude for May settlement hit $115.34 in London.
Commodities traded up across the board with copper and platinum gaining on demand from China while cereals jumped after news emerged that inventories would be the smallest since 2007.
Across Europe stocks rose as the traders took heart from an apparent easing of the nuclear crisis in Japan.