Oil Prices Remain High in U.S., Britain

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Oil prices remained high Monday despite a pledge from Saudi Arabia that it would step up production to make up for the shortage of Libyan oil due to the recent turmoil in the Arabic country.

The price of a barrel of oil stayed at $98 in the U.S. and $112 in Great Britain, which is about where prices were at the end of last week.

Prices increased after unrest broke out in Libya, which exports much of its oil to Europe. Libya's oil production dropped 50 percent after the fighting began.

The chaos in Libya's oil industry has cut production by at least 750,000 barrels daily, down from its normal capacity of 1.6 million barrels, the International Energy Agency reported late Friday.

"Investors are now worrying that rising oil prices are less a symptom of macro strength and more a threat to growth," Morgan Stanley said in a report. "It seems that (a Brent average of $115 this year) would be a material headwind for growth."

Gasoline prices have shot up 15 cents in just the last week and many energy market analysts expect them to go higher this summer.

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