Thursday 16:00 GMT. Oil’s grip on global investors gets ever tighter, earlier crushing risk appetite with another sharp move higher.
However, a Financial Times report that Saudi Arabia would try to make up the shortfall from any disruption to Libyan supplies has knocked crude off its highs and helped equities pare losses.
The S&P 500 on Wall Street, which had looked set to open down nearly 1 per cent, is off just 0.1 per cent, helped by an improved reading for US weekly initial jobless claims.
Brent crude had breached $119 a barrel during a period of frantic trading around 0745 GMT as industrial needs were hedged and traders exploited an explosion of upside momentum.