REUTERS: Oil prices charged to a fresh 2-1/2 year high on Monday as traders eyed increasing violence in major producer Libya, feeding fears about rising inflation and restraining gains in equities.
Global stocks were slightly higher with emerging markets down and European shares flat. U.S. markets were closed for a national holiday.
Protests broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli for the first time following days of unrest in the city of Benghazi and some army units defected to the opposition in what has become one of the bloodiest revolts to convulse the Arab world.
Financial markets are particularly sensitive to the violence in Libya because it exports around 1.1 million barrels per day of crude.
Brent oil was up $1.90 a barrel at $104.44 having earlier risen to a new high of $104.60. >>> Jeremy Gaunt, European Investment Correspondent, London | Monday, February 21, 2011
REUTERS: Swiss franc, Treasuries gain on Mideast tensions: The safe-haven Swiss franc and U.S. government bonds rallied on Thursday, while crude oil prices rose as unrest in the Middle East and tensions between Israel and Iran escalated. >>> Wanfeng Zhou, New York | Thursday, February 17, 2011