The price of crude leaped to a new high this morning (Monday), breaking through the psychologically important US$60 a barrel threshold as concerns mounted that supply would not meet demand, especially in the United States. This is leading some (including the FT) to ask whether push is coming to shove on the cost side (equally it won't exactly be good news for consumption).
Shares in energy-intensive companies such as manufacturing and transport were hardest hit. FedEx, for example, the US delivery group that has been a leading beneficiary of booming global trade, broke its winning streak by warning that this quarter's earnings would be hit by jet fuel costs despite an automatic surcharge for customers.
And the metals industry, which had been enjoying its best growth for years, is now squeezed between the high cost of energy-related inputs such as electricity and coal and slowing demand from leading customers.
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