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Middle East tensions to keep a floor under oil prices

The Middle East continued to be the focus of commodity markets, although most prices ended the week either flat or lower. That said, the escalation of Houthi attacks on shipping and subsequent retaliatory military strikes by the US and UK gave a lift to oil prices, as they raised the risk of a wider regional conflict, and disruption to oil and gas exports. Next week, all eyes in energy markets will remain on developments in the Middle East, but a raft of economic data releases may give more of a steer to non-energy commodity prices. 

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