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Asian shares slip, crude firms as market eyes Iraq

Published on Jun 16, 2014 1:34 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares got off on the back foot on Monday, as crude extended gains and tested nine-month highs on fears the insurgency in Iraq could spread - disrupting oil exports.

Sunni insurgents seized a mainly ethnic Turkmen city in northwestern Iraq on Sunday, while the United States boosted security for its diplomatic staff in Baghdad and said some personnel had evacuated from the embassy.

Brent rose about 0.5 per cent to US$113.07 per barrel, after touching US$114.69 on Friday, its highest since September. Brent added more than US$4 last week. US crude rose about 0.4 per cent to US$107.34, approaching Friday's nine-month high of $107.68.

Gold hit its highest in nearly three weeks as the Iraqi crisis supported the metal's safe-haven appeal, rising about 0.1 per cent to US$1,277.80 an ounce after hitting US$1,278.74 earlier in the session - the highest since late May.

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