Violent clashes in Egypt put pressure on oil price

Marion Dakers
VIOLENCE erupted in Egypt yesterday as supporters of outgoing president Hosni Mubarak turned on tens of thousands of pro-reform protesters.

Three people were killed and more than 610 injured during bloody clashes on the streets of Cairo, according to official health ministry figures, as armed Mubarak supporters stormed Tahrir Square, the hub of Egypt’s largely peaceful pro-democracy protests over the past week.

Mubarak rejected calls last night from governments around the world to step down immediately.

The unrest pushed oil prices higher yesterday, with Brent futures for March ending at $102.34 (£63.22) a barrel – the highest since mid-2008.

Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded five Egyptian banks yesterday, while Standard & Poor’s lowered its view on two.

Cairo’s banks and stock exchange are set to remain shut today.