Price of oil jumps over fear of disruption in Suez Canal
The price of oil soared to above $102 a barrel for the first time in over a year as Egypt's political crisis intensified, raising the risk of disruptions in the Suez Canal.
A report showing an unexpectedly large fall in US stockpiles of crude oil also helped boost prices.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for August delivery was up $1.86 at $101.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, having risen as high as $102.18 earlier in the session.
On Tuesday, the contract gained $1.61, or 1.6pc.
Egypt is not an oil producer but its control of the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes that links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, gives it a crucial role in maintaining global energy supplies.
The Middle East accounts for about a quarter of the world's crude oil output.
The Suez Canal Authority, which operates the waterway, said it "has all the authorities needed for running the canal without being limited by the laws and the systems of the (Egyptian) government."