There will be further pressure on oil prices today with news
that Iraq’s main oil refinery has been targeted by insurgents and part of the plant is in flames. Although the refinery is a domestic facility and will not directly hit exports, it will increase anxiety about Iraq’s stability and whether the export oil fields in the south will eventually be breached. Meanwhile, other countries in the region seem to be well protected from the issues of their neighbour. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are among countries that would traditionally have suffered from any disruption or unrest in the Middle East but it seems that, so far at least, they are not seeing any economic challenges. Investors are still buying their bonds and experts say it is due to monetary reserves that the nations have built up to protect themselves from instability in the region. Read the full story.