Oil surges amid Middle East unrest

February 18, 2011 11:16 am 

NEW YORK, Feb. 18 — U.S. crude oil price surged on Thursday as continued unrest in the Middle East contributed to uncertainty in crude markets.

Light, sweet crude for March delivery gained 1.37 dollars to 86.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude oil price climbed over 1.6 percent after protesters clashed with police in Bahrain, Yemen and Libya, and Iranian state-run television said the country was sending two warships to the Suez Canal.

It was reported that in Bahrain, police stormed a square in Manama, killing at least three protesters. Clashes were also reported in oil producer Libya, sandwiched between Egypt and Tunisia, while at least 40 were wounded in Yemen in the seventh day of demonstrations.

The dollar index, which tracks dollar performance against a basket of currencies, dropped on Thursday, offering a lift to oil surge.

But in London, the Brent crude slipped from the 2-1/2-year high, narrowing its premium to New York crude benchmark. (PNA/Xinhua)

scs/FFC/ebp

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