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Price Of Oil Hits Two-Year High; '70s-Style Swings Ahead?

"Oil prices rose to fresh two-year highs — around $96 a barrel — Wednesday amid concerns that a violent power struggle in Libya could disrupt supplies, with experts warning the next weeks and months would prove highly volatile," The Associated Press writes.

It adds that "if the chaos spreads to other bigger energy producers in the region, such as Iran or Saudi Arabia, price fluctuations could became as sharp as those in the 1970s, when an OPEC embargo caused gasoline shortages in the U.S., analysts warned."

Bloomberg News writes that:

"If oil 'goes above $120 on a sustainable basis, you will have a meaningful shortfall in global growth relative to what current consensus expects,' Jonathan Garner, Morgan Stanley's Hong Kong-based chief Asia and emerging-market strategist, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. 'We're in for a period of extended uncertainty, and that's not good news for the equity risk premium.' "

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.