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Oil prices soar amid Middle East tension

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Oil prices soar amid Middle East tension

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Oil prices have hit record highs amid mounting international tension over Israel’s offensive in Lebanon. Crude oil rose to over 78 dollars a barrel in after-hours electronic trading in New York. London Brent hit new peaks as well, reaching 77.49 dollars a barrel in trading after the regular session.

Although neither Israel nor Lebanon are oil producers, the Middle East pumps around a quarter of the world’s output. The fear is the crisis could escalate and spread. There are also renewed worries over supply from Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria, following reports of two explosions at a pipeline.