Petrol rise fears, local stocks slide: Economy roundup

Australian shares slid today on the back of concerns about the impact of surging oil costs on global economic growth, after crude prices briefly topped $US100 a barrel for the first time ever overnight.  

The benchmark Australian S&P/ASX200 index was down 1.3% to 6268.9 at 10.55am, after rising 0.2% to close at 6353.2 on Wednesday.

US stocks also fell 1.5% as some bad figures on manufacturing and concerns about the rising price of oil caused more market jitters.

Meanwhile petrol prices could hit $1.50 a litre within a week with an interest rate rise to follow, warns motoring group NRMA Motoring & Services.

Oil prices soared to $US100 a barrel, as global demand for oil and petroleum products continued to outstrip supplies.

The rise was attributed to the surging economies in China and India, and to political tensions in oil-producing nations like Nigeria, Iran and Iraq.

NRMA president Alan Evans says in Business Spectator that the price of petrol could rise by five to seven cents over the next week, pushing average prices above $1.50 per litre.



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