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Oil breaks $100 a barrel

The price of oil rose to over $100 a barrel yesterday, the first time it has done so in more than two years, amid concerns that the turmoil in Egypt could disrupt oil shipments passing through the Suez canal and engulf the Middle East.

The price of a barrel of the benchmark Brent crude soared by more than $1.50 to $101.08 as the protests against President Mubarak's regime intensified.

Prices are now at their highest since September 2008.

Oil prices have been rising steadily since August, from around $70, owing to higher demand, and inflation.

Egypt is not a major oil producer, but it controls the 120-mile Suez canal and the 200-mile Suez-Mediterranean pipeline, which together carry about 2 million barrels of oil each day.

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