NewsCrude jumps near $103 as MidEast tension escalates
AnalysisCrude traded above $103 per barrel today after Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi vowed to prolong the war amid the second consecutive night of allied air strikes, thereby affecting output by the OPEC nation and negatively impacting demand.

Crude today hovers around $103 per barrel recording its highest around $103.33 and lowest around $102.31, while it currently is trading around $102.67 per barrel.

Middle East political turmoil presses on, where a military coalition including the US, France, UK and other nations continue full attack against Gaddafi forces preventing tanks, fighter jets and anti-aircraft sites from attacking rebels in Benghazi. Meanwhile, Gaddafi pledged to persist attacking eastern rebels and insists on not resigning. Investors fear that international intervention could prolong the conflict and effect the OPEC nation’s crude production by keeping it out of markets longer than expected.

Crude last Friday traded around $103 per barrel recording its highest around $103.63 and lowest around $100.12 per barrel, closing around $101.23 per barrel. Futures rose last Friday due to ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East heating up and could push crude prices towards $140 per barrel, something which has not been seen since 2008.

Moreover, allied officials stated that the two consecutive days in strikes against Gaddafi forces have effectively grounded his air force preventing advances to Benghazi. Libya’s crude output so far has plunged more than 400 thousand barrel per day, a notable drop from the previous 1.59 million barrels per day in January due to damaged facilities and sanctions against the OPEC nation.

As for NYMEX as of 04:09 EST; motor gasoline rose $1.43 recording $299.160 per gallon; heating is trading around $306.030 per gallon inclining $1.19; whereas natural gasoline climbed $1.01 to record $4.210. In London, Brent futures jumped $1.21 to record $115.310.