24 Feb '11, 3am

Oil up, stocks down on Middle East concerns

Oil up, stocks down on Middle East concerns

HONG KONG: The crisis in Libya sent most Asian shares down and oil to fresh highs on Thursday amid fears of a bloodbath as the government of the north African country tries to crack down on an insurrection. As thousands of Libyans and foreigners fled Libya and opponents of leader Moamer Kadhafi seemed to be in control of vast swathes of the nation as he struggled to cling on to his four-decade rule. US President Barack Obama condemned the leadership's crackdown on protesters and orders to shoot protesters as "outrageous" while reports said up to 1,000 people have died in a backlash by Kadhafi's forces. With oil exports being curtailed from the crude exporter, the price of the black gold jumped to highs not seen since late 2008. Brent North Sea crude - which is more sensitive to Middle East unrest thanks to Europe's greater dependence on oil from the region - gained 85 cent...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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