Entries in Libya (19)


Wall Street Report: Global Markets Gaining, US Stock Futures Up

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Following a rocky showing last week, global markets are making some headway Tuesday after reports on Chinese and German manufacturing activity proved better than expected, calming fears of a sharp slowdown in global economic growth.

Japan's Nikkei index rose 1.22 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.99 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite went up 1.52 percent, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 2.23 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi had the biggest showing in Asian trading, shooting up 3.86 percent, followed by Taiwan’s Taiex increase of 3.25 percent.

European markets are also trading higher ahead of Tuesday's closing.

Over in the U.S., stock futures are up Tuesday after slight gains on Wall Street the day before.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 37 points on Monday, while the Nasdaq added four points and the S&P 500 fell even.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose to nearly $86 a barrel Tuesday as Libyan rebels and government forces continue to fight for control, hampering oil production, in turn.

Gold prices, on the other hand, are down over $5 an ounce after a record-setting run-up.  The price of gold had previously shot up to almost $1,900 an ounce.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Where is Gadhafi -- and His Billions?

ABC News(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's war chest might have been large enough at one point to support fighting against rebel forces, but how much remains and could be extracted by Libya's new Transitional National Council remains to be seen.

Gadhafi and his family have an estimated $33 billion -- and $60 billion in unaccounted money around the world.  The country's oil wealth, as the world's 12th largest oil exporter, was a source of high-living not necessarily for Gadhafi, but for his children.

Robert Powell, senior analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit, part of the Economist Group, said that while Gadhafi lived relatively modestly -- generally staying close to his nomadic roots -- his children were less traditional.  Powell said Gadhafi lived in tents, and tried to set up camp when he traveled abroad as well.

"His children generally went a little bit off the rails and really enjoyed the high life," Powell said.

Libyan rebels announced this weekend that they had captured three of Gadhafi's sons, including Saif al Islam Gadhafi, his second-eldest son and his reported expected successor. However, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi resurfaced Monday, giving journalists a tour of the areas of the country still loyal to his family's regime.

His brothers, Saadi and Mohammed Gadhafi, were also reported to have been arrested -- but officials are unsure where Gadhafi and his other children are located.

Mansour El-Kikhia, a professor of political science at the University of Texas, San Antonio, said Gadhafi and his children helped themselves to the Libyan treasury without accountability.  He said some of his children had large private yachts, planes and property in cities such as Geneva, Vienna, and London.

Powell said the Libyan government was "hugely corrupt" and dominated both the political and business networks of the country.

"They paid themselves out of government coffers and gave themselves official roles," Powell said of the Gadhafi family.

Daniel Serwer, a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a scholar at the Middle East Institute, said Libya's new Transitional National Council could have a "very difficult" time regaining state assets.

"I can guarantee you right now someone is trying to privatize whatever assets are sitting in Libya's central bank, privatizing land, offices, and stealing computers.  This is what goes on," Serwer said during a conference call Monday afternoon, hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Powell said part of the difficulty in identifying Gadhafi's bank accounts is that his surname is not easily translated into English.

"Literally there are hundreds of ways to spell 'Gadhafi,'" he said.

Powell said Gadhafi had vast cash and gold resources in Tripoli he could access if other countries froze his foreign assets, which eventually happened.

El-Kikhia said various countries and banks have tracked at least $160 billion of Libyan money in foreign accounts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Admin. to Release Oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

File photo. (Comstock/Thinkstock)(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration said Thursday it will release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve "to offset the disruption in the oil supply caused by unrest in the Middle East."

The U.S. Department of Energy said, "The situation in Libya has caused a loss of roughly 1.5 million barrels of oil per day -- particularly of light, sweet crude -- from global markets. As the United States enters the months of July and August, when demand is typically highest, prices remain significantly higher than they were prior to the start of the unrest in Libya."

The department said the U.S. and its partners in the International Energy Agency will release a total of 60 million barrels of oil over the next 30 days.

"We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "As we move forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to take additional steps if necessary."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Global Oil Prices Dropping; US Stock Futures Up After Strong Week

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Global oil is seeing a drop in prices Monday amid news that rebel forces in Libya are making gains.

West Texas crude futures fell to $105 a barrel overnight as Libyan rebels reportedly took control of at least two oil ports.  Their leaders say oil production will be resumed in the country soon.

Meanwhile, European and U.S. stock futures are up Monday morning after strong gains the week before.  Last week, the Dow and other averages saw their strongest weekly gain -- around three percent -- since last July.

The Asian stock market, however, is trending lower with more concerns about the dangerous radiation leak from Japan's cripped nuclear power plant.  Japanese automakers and other industries in the country are also still facing a huge challenge with rolling power blackouts and some parts suppliers knocked out by the earthquake.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Stock Averages Up Amid Higher Oil Prices, Worries Overseas

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Despite soaring oil prices, a virtual civil war in Libya and new debt worries in Europe, the stock market is still going up.

Future are up Thursday morning after the Dow gained 67 points the day before.  The Nasdaq and S&P also saw gains Wednesday, adding 14 points and four points, respectively.

In Europe, averages are mostly higher Thursday morning amid worsening financial problems in Portugal.  A bailout could be coming soon to Portugal after its government resigned.  Borrowing costs there are up, and the country's opposition parties rejected a plan to cut the deficit by hiking taxes and reducing spending.  Also, the interest rate on Portugese ten year bonds soared to 7.6 percent.

Meanwhile, as the unrest in Libya continues, oil prices are now around their highest in recent weeks, standing at $106 a barrel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Stock Futures Up Tuesday after Day of Gains

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stock market futures are up slightly Tuesday morning after gains across the board the day before.

The Dow ended over 12,000 Monday after a gain of 178 points.  The Nasdaq also surged by 48 points -- a near two-percent increase -- while the S&P gained 19 points.

Overseas, world averages are gaining Tuesday after the big jump in Japan overnight.  The Nikkei average shot up 4.4 percent, and auto shares also saw gains as Japanese automakers prepare to resume manufacturing this week.

Meanwhile, global oil prices are now around $102 a barrel.  The fighting in Libya has shut down oil exports, and fears that unrest could spread to other parts of the Middle East are putting upward pressure on crude costs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japan's Stocks See Gain; US Stocks on the Rebound

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Japan's stocks gained more than two percent Friday, and other overseas markets were higher, after a group of seven major industrial nations stepped in to support Japan's economic recovery by intervening in currency markets.

The G-7 pledge was preceded by the yen hitting a record high Thursday, which could potentially affect exports and the economic recovery in Japan.

Over in the U.S., Wall Street rebounded Thursday with the help of new reports pointing to a continuing recovery in the country's economy.  The Dow added 161 points, while the Nasdaq gained 19 and the S&P added 17.

On another note, crude oil prices are now topping $103 a barrel in overseas trading on worries that the U.N.'s approval of military strikes against Moammar Gadhafi's forces could prolong the conflict in Libya and threaten oil exports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Events Overseas Likely to Affect Stock Market In Early Trading

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Modest gains on Wall Street Friday were not enough to reverse last week's falling fortunes.

For the week, the Dow was down 1 percent, at 12,044, while the Nasdaq shed 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, oil prices are near $99 a barrel in overseas trading after multiple disasters in Japan threatened to send the world's third-largest economy into recession.  Nuclear power-related businesses in the country had staggering losses, with Hitachi and Toshiba seeing drops of 16 percent.  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries also slumped 10 percent.

On another note, Libya's oil minister says that country's crude production has fallen "drastically" as Moammar Gadhafi's forces battle to regain control of ports and oil facilities along the Mediterranean coast.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gas: California Most Expensive State Average, $5.39 in Orlando

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As hostilities continued in Libya, crude oil futures reached $106.95 a barrel in early trading Monday -- up $2.53 from Friday's settled price of $104.42 -- according to the New York Mercantile Exchange . Analysts expect the Department of Energy's weekly national average gas price, released at 5 p.m. ET, to increase as well.

After the biggest one-week rise in oil prices in two years, weekly gas prices increased 6 percent last week, according to the Department of Energy. The national average is $3.38 per gallon, an increase of 19 cents from the previous week and 68 cents from the previous year. The least expensive gas is in the Rocky Mountain region: $3.18 a gallon. According to AAA's daily gas prices, California has the most expensive gas at $3.90 for regular grade.

In Orlando, Fla., one gas station that is closest to the airport was selling gas at $5.39 on Monday, 10 cents more than last week's price of $5.29.

Although unrest in Libya has not yet disrupted global oil supply significantly, analysts have said the markets remain concerned the revolts percolating in the Middle East will affect supplies in the top oil exporters in the world, such as Algeria, Iran, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.

And as concerns about oil prices continue to increase, so has discussion about opening up the nation's petroleum reserve.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gas Prices Rising: $5.29 in Florida, $4.00 in Massachusetts

WCVB-TV(NEW YORK) -- Oil prices around the world continued to soar Friday, buffeted by uncertainty in the Middle East.

Crude oil futures hovered above $103 a barrel in New York Friday morning. In London trading, oil headed for its sixth weekly gain, according to Bloomberg News.

An oil facility in Libya was reportedly damaged and on fire, the Al Jazeera news channel reported. Meanwhile, demonstrators continued to protest in Saudi Arabia, demanding the release of Shiite prisoners, according to CNN.

"I think there's a storm brewing in Saudi Arabia," said Tom di Galoma, head of fixed income rates trading with Guggenheim Securities. "All these geopolitical events in Middle East are causing oil to spike."

In the United States, how much pain at the pump drivers feel may depend on location. In Orlando, Fla., two gas stations that are the closest to the airport, and across the street from each other, are selling regular at $5.29 and $5.19 a gallon.

After the biggest one-week rise in oil prices in two years, weekly gas prices increased 6 percent this week, according to the Department of Energy. The national average is $3.38 per gallon, an increase of 19 cents over the previous week and 68 cents from the previous year. The average price in California, one of the most expensive states, is $3.72 per gallon. The least expensive gas is in the Rocky Mountain region: $3.18 a gallon.

Crude oil production has decreased between 500,000 to 750,000 barrels daily in Libya, less than one percent of global oil consumption, down from its typical capacity of 1.6 million barrels, the International Energy Agency reported last week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio