Oil prices surpass US$40 as tensions mount in the Middle East

Concerns that Israeli attacks on Hamas in the Gaza Strip could fan tensions in the Middle East and disrupt crude supplies; have triggered a rise in oil prices. Israeli troops and tanks massed along the Gaza border with a government statement that it had called up reserves for a possible ground operation. Oil prices have risen above $40 a barrel Monday, lifting energy stocks and other commodities. In premarket trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude for February delivery rose US$2.49 to US$40.20 a barrel.
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