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Rising oil prices fuel stock market anxiety over rate hikes

Global market cap drops $6tn in 2022 as investors fear economic slowdown

Oil fields in Iraq: Central banks look to tighten monetary policy to offset inflationary pressure from a surge in crude prices.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Global financial markets face growing distress as crude oil prices surge, with investors concerned that moves by central banks to combat inflation will dampen growth.

U.S. benchmark futures for West Texas Intermediate crossed $90 per barrel in New York on Thursday before topping $93 at one point Friday -- the highest level in over seven years. Benchmark contracts for North Sea Brent also hit an almost seven-and-a-half-year high of over $93 per barrel in London. Some market watchers expect prices eventually to surpass $100.

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