Oil prices waver on Libya concerns

Oil prices: The Libyan rebellion already has all but shut down exports from the oil-rich nation, and traders say it's hard to gauge how much world supplies will be affected as similar uprisings continue to unfold in North Africa and the Middle East.

By , Associated Press

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    A gas nozzle is used to pump petrol at a station in New York February 22. Oil prices rose to their highest in 2-1/2 years on Tuesday as investors worried that the revolt in Libya could spread to top Middle East producers, as companies suspended operations and ports were disrupted.

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Oil prices are wavering Friday as jittery commodities markets open in New York.

The Libyan rebellion already has all but shut down exports from the oil-rich nation, and traders say it's hard to gauge how much world supplies will be affected as similar uprisings continue to unfold in North Africa and the Middle East.

Benchmark crude for April delivery rose 18 cents at $97.46 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Prices dropped shortly after the U.S. reported the economy grew more slowly at the end of 2010 than previously thought. They jumped again on reports that a magnitude-5.7 earthquake hit Mexico's Gulf coast near numerous offshore oil platforms.

Spain says it will lower highway speed limits and cut train ticket prices in an emergency energy-saving initiative because of higher oil prices brought on by unrest in Libya.

Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba says Spain's energy supply is not in danger despite shutdowns by oil companies operating in Libya, but the national energy bill will rise significantly because of sharply rising petroleum prices.

He told reporters Friday after a Cabinet meeting that the measures will be approved formally next week and take effect on a temporary basis March 7.

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