The price of New York crude oil soared above $126 per barrel on Friday, lifted by speculative demand amid concerns about tight global energy supplies, analysts said. New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, spiked as high as $126,20 in London trading hours.
A global equities sell-off gathered speed on Friday as nervous investors were hit by growing United States recession fears, a plunging dollar and record oil prices, dealers said. European markets fell after sharp losses earlier in Asia and overnight on Wall Street following more bad news on the US subprime home-loan crisis.
British energy giant BP, reeling from fatal safety errors and a boardroom scandal, said on Tuesday that third-quarter profits slumped owing to lower output, weak United States gas prices and refinery outages. Net profit on a replacement-cost basis plunged 44,5% from a year earlier to $3,87-billion in the three months to September.
Troubled British bank Northern Rock faced break-up rumours on Sunday as it sought to reassure panicking customers and investors following an emergency bail-out by the Bank of England. Worried customers besieged Northern Rock on Friday and Saturday to withdraw their savings -- despite assurances that it would not fall victim to the global credit squeeze.
The appointment of Cynthia Carroll as chief executive of Anglo American marks a step in the right direction for equality in Britain's boardrooms as women struggle to break through the glass ceiling, analysts said. The global mining giant, which is registered in Britain but operates mainly in South Africa, announced last week that 49-year-old Carroll would replace Tony Trahar on March 1 2007.