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This Friday is expected to see a fresh wave of protests in Saudi Arabia. A “day of rage” is planned in the Al-Ihsaa province an area which is rich in oil and also populated by the Shiite minority. Also in Al-Hufuf, close to Bahrain, demonstrations against the Saudi monarchy are expected. These aren’t the first protests in Saudi Arabia.

More demonstrations are expected in additional Arab countries after the Friday prayers. This includes Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Yemen. In Iran, demonstrations were depressed violently and the main opposition leaders, Mousavi and Karoubi have been jailed incommunicado. The Ayatullah regime has denied the fact that they are in prison.

And of course, the civil war in Libya still continues. The battles are now concentrated in the oil producing city of Braga. NATO is getting closer to attack Gaddafi, but this isn’t certain.

All this unrest, especially in Iran and Saudi Arabia which are large producers of oil, sent oil prices higher in recent weeks. WTI reached a peak of $103.40 on February 24th, and is now getting close to that region again. It now trades at $102.75. Brent is nearing the critical $120 level once again.

Higher oil prices weaken the dollar and aid the Swiss franc as well as the Canadian dollar. See the USD/CAD forecast for more on this currency pair.