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Oil hits big $100 as Egypt protests enter end game

Oil hits big $100 as Egypt protests enter end game

Fears over the stability of oil flows through the Suez canal and red sea pipeline caused the commodity to hit $100 a barrel overnight.

It comes as unrest in Egypt intensifies. In a potentially pivotal move the Egyptian military has said that it will not fire upon protestors. The move is seen as an intentional step towards confirming to president Hosni Mubarak that the authorities will not provide force with which he can re-assert his authority.

The vice president of Egypt Omar Suleiman - himself a hate figure for the protestors - has said he has become a dialogue with all the political forces in Egypt over constitutional reform.

The Egyptian stock market remains closed today as more foreign companies pull out their employees from the nation. Yet stockmarkets appear to have seceded in seeing off the fear created by the crisis at least in the short-term. The Dow Jones rallied some 0.58% overnight on new data highlighting the strength of the US economy.

Opec has responded to the escalating Egyptian crisis by saying that while it is concerned it will not immediately be boosting supply to offset the price rise.

The crisis has exacerbated widespread fears around the sustainability of emerging market equity prices. The region, already under pressure from investors moving to developed markets on fears over monetary tightening, fell to a five-week low yesterday.  Strong Chinese data yesterday limited the loss on the MSCI Emerging Market index to 0.8% though.

The next step for Egypt planned by protestors is a million strong march towards the end of this week.

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