World Bulletin / News Desk
An explosion on Sunday rocked the Egyptian pipeline built to carry natural gas to Israel and Jordan, the 15th time it has been attacked since the start of the uprising in early 2011 that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
The blast occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning at al-Tuwail, east of the coastal Sinai town of al-Arish, at a point before the pipeline splits into separate branches to Israel and Jordan, security officials and witnesses said.
Gunmen in a small truck drove up to the pipeline, dug a hole and placed explosive charges under the pipeline that they detonated from a distance, a security official and witnesses said.
A large boom echoed across the area and residents up to 30 km (18 miles) away said later they could see flames of burning gas lighting the sky.
An official in the company that manages the pipeline said exports of gas to both Israel and Jordan had been halted since an explosion that hit the pipeline in April and that the flames were caused by residual gas.
Residents in al-Arish, however, said gas shipments had begun three days ago through the pipeline, which at one point supplied Israel with about 40 percent of its natural gas.
Egypt in April terminated its agreement to supply gas to Israel because of what it said was a business dispute.
The 20-year gas deal, signed in the Mubarak era, was unpopular with many Egyptians, with critics accusing Israel of not paying enough for the fuel.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.