Oil futures soared past $49 a barrel, with turmoil in Yemen raising concerns over crude supplies in the Middle East. The news, combined with a weaker U.S. dollar, offset earlier pressure from a U.S. government report that revealed that crude supplies rose for an 11th week in a row. Yemen's president fled the southern city of Aden as militants drew closer, according to news reports. The Yemen situation threatens the stability of the oil chokepoint at Bab el-Mandeb Strait, said Richard Hastings, macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, May crude traded at $49.23 a barrel, up $1.72, or 3.6%.
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