Comments by US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and a pledge by Saudi Arabia to increase oil output have failed to curb oil prices, which continued to climb Tuesday on fears of the political turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East.
Bernanke told US lawmakers that high oil prices would probably not lead to significant inflation. But he warned that prolonged regional turmoil, and sustained high prices, could eventually damage the US economy.
On Monday Saudi Arabia pledged to increase its oil production to compensate for the downturn in output by crisis-hit Libya, but the announcement did not immediately stabilize the markets.
Dec. 17 - $91.67 - Tunisian man sets himself on fire in protest, sparking wave of discontent across the country.
Jan. 14 - $98.38 - Tunisian unrest hits boiling point, President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali flees the country.
Jan. 25 - $95.35 - Thousands of protesters in Egypt call for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Feb. 11 - $101.11 - Egyptian president resigns.
Feb. 17 - $104.01 - Bahrain riot police break up protests in the capital, Manama; Yemeni police open fire on protesters; Libyan demonstrators clash with police during “Day of Anger”.
Feb. 23 - $110.34 - Libya’s second city, Benghazi, falls to opposition forces.