Desperate motorists queued up at fuel pumps across Britain, draining tanks, fraying tempers and prompting calls for the government to use emergency powers to give priority access to healthcare and other essential workers
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) left unchanged its oil-production ceiling on Friday, snubbing United States demands for an increase as the cartel focuses on supporting prices that have fallen 10% since the start of the year. Explaining its decision, Opec said that stockpiles of crude were likely to increase in the first half of 2008.
Global share prices rocketed on Thursday, though fears of an economic slowdown lingered as Société Générale revealed a massive €4,9-billion fraud-related loss it attributed to one of its traders. Europe's leading share indices surged in morning deals, with gains of between 4% and more than 5% after a recovery on the Japanese market.
Gold struck a new all-time peak of almost $868 dollars on Thursday as the precious metal benefited from its safe-haven status amid record high oil, a struggling dollar and Pakistan tensions, analysts said. The price of gold reached a historic $867,90 an ounce on the London Bullion Market. It later slipped slightly to stand at $866,90.
Shares in British bank Northern Rock plunged by a quarter on Friday as clients rushed to withdraw their savings following an emergency bail-out of the lender by the Bank of England. The central bank came to the rescue of Britain's fifth-biggest home-loan provider, which is facing severe difficulties raising cash on money markets amid the ongoing global credit squeeze.
World stock markets roared higher on Monday after last week's slump, but analysts warned of further turmoil for share prices owing to lingering concerns about borrowers' failure to repay United States home loans. The London and Paris main indices jumped by about 1% in morning trade after Tokyo's market closed up 3%.
European group Airbus will on Monday unveil new design plans for its troubled long-haul A350 plane, Thomas Enders, co-chief executive of Airbus's parent company EADS, told reporters. The cost of developing the mid-sized jet could meanwhile more than double to about $10-billion, added the German boss.