Oil rises as tensions soar in Egypt

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Singapore, Feb 11 (AFP) Oil prices rose today asheightened tensions in Egypt sparked crude supply concerns,analysts said.

New York''s main contract, light sweet crude for Marchdelivery, soared 83 cents to USD 87.56 per barrel. Brent NorthSea crude for delivery in March gained 69 cents to USD 101.56on its last trading day.

The rise came after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarakrefused to step down on Thursday, delegating some powers toVice President Omar Suleiman and enraging protesters who havedemanded his resignation.

"It''s really due to Mubarak''s speech he gave earlier,"said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst for Phillip Futures inSingapore. "I think that this has got investors refocusing onthe Egyptian crisis," she told AFP.

Mubarak''s refusal to step down enraged more than200,000 protesters massed in the central Tahrir Square, whovowed to stage their most spectacular protest yet on Friday,sparking fears of violence in Cairo.

Conflicts in Egypt could disrupt crude suppliespassing through the Suez Canal, which provides a link betweenEurope and Asia and allows ships safer and faster travelbetween the regions without having to sail around Africa.

While Egypt is not a major crude producer, the canalcarries about 2.4 million barrels of crude daily, roughlyequal to the output of Iraq or Brazil. (AFP)

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