Oil prices rose on both sides of the Atlantic, and Brent hit a four-month high on Thursday on fears that escalating violence in Egypt could affect the Suez Canal or spread across the Middle East, where supplies already face disruptions.
Hundreds of supporters of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood stormed a government building in Cairo on Thursday and set it ablaze, a day after the government declared a state of emergency following deadly clashes between riot police and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi. Hundreds marched in Alexandria, Egypt's second-largest city.
While Egypt is not a major producer of crude oil, it is home to the strategically important Suez Canal and the Sumed pipeline. Investors fear the unrest could choke supply routes or spill over into oil-exporting neighbors.
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