(Crude oil price story updated for market close, political unrest in Egypt)NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Crude oil rallied on Friday as the political unrest in Egypt created fears of a widening political upheaval in the Middle East and a disruption in the global oil supply infrastructure.
XOM) and ConocoPhillips ( COP) hit fresh 52-week highs. The risk of a selloff in the energy sector, and in the broader markets, was embedded in the recent 52-week high levels attained by many stocks. It was a day for "market anxiety" trading, as the typical safe havens, gold and the U.S. dollar, gained amid major losses in equities. In energy shares specifically, fast money moves to profit-taking on headline risk and long-term investors consolidate holdings over a longer period of time, creating choppy charts around peak valuations, even without a major surprise like political turmoil at the site of the Suez Canal. ConocoPhillips was the only oil major to hold onto its gains on Friday, gaining another 1.5%, though it came down from another intraday 52-week high of $71.35. Baker Hughes ( BHI) the biggest earnings rally stock among the oil services group, was also among the only energy stocks to continue to hit fresh intraday 52-week highs on Friday, though its 2% gain on Friday afternoon was below the intraday high. By the end of the day Friday, President Mubarak spoke on national television, trying to show the world that he remains in control and making several statements also trying to show his receptive ear when it comes to the suffering of Egyptian people. Mubarak called for calm, respect for law, and said reforms would be made if violence did not continue. Mubarak also said he had asked the government to resign and for a new government to be formed. -- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.
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