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Rising oil prices could threaten global recovery

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Global stocks tumbled as markets were spooked by the escalating violence in Libya – the FTSE 100 fell by more 66 points to 5947.84.

CEO of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol warned that soaring oil prices “could weaken trade balances, add to inflation and put pressure on central banks to raise interest rates at a time when economic growth remains lacklustre in many countries, including the UK”.

The price of oil and grains increased again this morning amid fears that the escalating crisis in Libya could spill over into the region’s other oil-producing countries. Libya exports 1.6m barrels a day and is the first major oil exporter to see marked disruption to oil production.

European energy companies including BP, Statoil, Total and ENI have begun evacuating some staff from Libya.

Global oil ministers are meeting this morning in Riyadh to discuss “market volatility”.

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