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Opportunities Exist in Markets Spooked by Mideast: Cohen

Fear of the unknown amid spreading Mideast unrest is driving down markets, Goldman Sachs strategist Abby Joseph Cohen told CNBC Tuesday, but good investment opportunities exist for nimble investors able to pick through selloffs.

Supporters of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi hold his pictures as they take part in a pro-government rally in Tripoli on February 17, 2011 as the country faced a nationwide "Day of Anger" called by opposition cyber activists.
Mahmud Turkia | AFP | Getty Images
Supporters of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi hold his pictures as they take part in a pro-government rally in Tripoli on February 17, 2011 as the country faced a nationwide "Day of Anger" called by opposition cyber activists.

"The concerns right now have more to do with the risk of what might happen—there have been very little in the way of [oil] supply disruptions," Cohen said.

The true concern is whether the crisis spreads to other oil producers in the region, thus affecting key oil importers like the United States.

"I think what's concerning many investors is the experts in this area are not all that convinced in terms of how this very fluid situation will ultimately resolve," Cohen said.

"Keep in mind that when investors are nervous, they sell what they can sell, which typically are the large-cap names...but that may not in fact be the securities that will be most afflicted by whatever problems are developing," she added.

Cohen also weighed in on the global economy, pointing out that she believes inflation is "still a premature concern" in developed economies.

However, that is "not the case in a number of the developing nations," she said. Economies like India, Brazil and China must decide how to address the pressure of rising food prices on their populations, she added, a "significant" issue for central banks around the world.

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