Oil prices hit 2.5-year highs: above $108 on the NYMEX, nearly $120 in London

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The price of oil has risen to two-and-a-half-year highs Monday as supply disruption fears are spurred by violence and civil unrest in North Africa and the Middle East

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the price of oil climbed to near $109 a barrel in intra-day trading Monday. As of 10:50 EST Monday, the price of West Texas Intermediate was $108.04 a barrel, but intra-day trade has seen the price jump to $108.78 in early-morning trading. 

In London, Brent crude is nearing $120 mark, gaining $1.25 in trading Monday to reach as high as $119.95 a barrel in intra-day trading. 

With a belief that the economic depression has passed and worldwide demand will rise, investors are weary that violence in the Middle East and North Africa will disrupt oil supply, forcing prices higher. The civil war in Libya has shut-in production from the North African country, and escalating violence in Yemen has investors on edge. 

Additionally, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is not eager to increase production that has been limited for some time to help stabilize pricing.



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