Monday saw oil prices rise as fresh violence in Lebanon sparked concerns of wider unrest in the Middle East. Benchmark oil for November delivery rose to US$90.5 on the , while Brent crude rose to US$110.7 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Lebanon's intelligence chief, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was assassinated in a car bombing. He was a powerful opponent of Syria, which for decades has wielded political and military influence in Lebanon. Al-Hassan headed an investigation over the summer that led to the arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha, one of Syria's most loyal allies in Lebanon. He also led the inquiry that implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. Syria itself has been driven with violence since an uprising against President Bashar Assad began in February 2011. It looks like the violence in Syria is spreading to other countries.