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Oil futures hit $50 on Nigerian rebel threat

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Crude oil futures on New York's NYMEX have jumped 36 cents in electronic trading to the psychological $50 a barrel level, the highest in the 21 years oil futures have traded on the exchange, as Nigerian rebels decided an "all-out" war against the government starting October 1.

The rebels advised oil companies operating in the oil-rich Niger Delta to shut production by that date. Instability in Nigeria, the fifth largest OPEC producer, had earlier pushed the dayside open-outcry session to a record intraday high of $49.75 a barrel, before settling at $49.64, up 76 cents on the day, and extending a rally to its eighth straight day.

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