Middle East tension heightens market concern

Escalation of Middle East violence related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict earlier this month triggered a near 10-year high in some international oil futures prices amid new fears of possible disruptions of oil supplies. At presstime, however, Israe* Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had agreed to take "immediate concrete measures" to end the conflict, which left more than 100 people dead, according to Associated Press reports.During the height of the conflict, a spot check of some oil companies active in those areas indicated that there was no immediate threat to operations.In trading Oct. 13, the November contract for North Sea Brent oil jumped by $3.51 ...

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