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Oil, stocks slip on Libya unrest

Monday, February 21, 2011 - 01:59

Feb 21 - European shares fell on Monday, led by energy stocks, as investors worried about political unrest in oil producer Libya, which also pushed the crude price higher. Joanna Partridge reports

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This video reportedly shows Libyans celebrating what they're calling the end of military rule. It was posted on YouTube after protests swept across the country leading to scores of deaths. Libya, ruled for 42 years by Muammar Gaddafi, is Africa's third-largest oil producer. And the unrest is worrying investors. In Frankfurt and across Europe - stocks dropped - led lower by shares in energy companies. Especially hit was Italian energy firm ENI which has extensive operations in Libya. Oil majors like Shell and Austria's OMV are withdrawing foreign staff from the country. BP's CEO Bob Dudley said dependents of foreign staff have already left. SOUNDBITE: Bob Dudley, BP CEO, saying (English): "We, like everyone, are watching this very, very carefully. We have operations there which are very, very limited, it's the early stages of exploration, we have some people there." Libya produces over 1.5 million barrels of oil a day and the troubles there have added $3 to the price of U.S. crude - which was hovering around $89.8 a barrel on Monday afternoon. Philip Poole from HSBC. SOUNDBITE: Philip Pool, Global Head of Macro and Investment Strategy at HSBC, saying (English): "I think it is a serious risk. It feeds back into inflation, inflation is clearly a problem in the emerging world already, becoming more of an issue for the developed world. That is one aspect to it, the other way to think about this really is that rising oil prices and rising food prices as well, are effectively a tax." There are worries the oil price could jump further if supplies are disrupted. The violence looks set to continue as the talk coming from Gaddafi and his supporters is far from conciliatory. One of Gaddafi's sons has said the leader would fight the uprising until the last man was standing. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Oil, stocks slip on Libya unrest

Monday, February 21, 2011 - 01:59