Tue, Jun 10, 2008 - Page 10 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ ENERGYT

Iran sees oil going higher

The price of crude oil is set to rise even further to US$150 a barrel by the end of summer, Iranian representative to OPEC Mohammad Ali Khatibi said on Sunday. “I foresee the price of oil reaching around US$150 a barrel by the end of the summer,” the state broadcaster’s Web site Ali Khatibi as saying. But he said that he believed that prices might fall back slightly in the short term after the US$10 leap registered on Friday. Iran, OPEC’s No. 2 exporter and the fourth biggest worldwide, has rejected calls for a hike in the output quota of the cartel, saying the high prices are not driven by fundamentals.

■INVESTMENT

Lehman to report losses

US investment giant Lehman Brothers is set to announce losses surpassing US$2 billion for the second quarter of this year — far more than the US$300 million predicted by analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. The Journal reported on its Web site that Lehman was close to raising some US$5 billion in fresh capital from various investors in hopes of stemming a rumored liquidity crisis. Analysts have said Lehman is trying to weather a widespread credit crunch unleashed in part by the US housing slump. The paper said Lehman stock has lost about 50 percent of its value this year as investors fret over its exposure to the mortgage market.

■UNITED KINGDOM

Inflation hits new high

British factory gate inflation hit a record level last month as firms’ raw material costs surged at their fastest rate in at least 22 years, official figures showed yesterday. The Office for National Statistics said output prices rose 1.6 percent last month, taking the annual rate to a record 8.9 percent. Core output prices, which exclude food, alcohol and tobacco, also surged by 1.2 percent on the month, three times the monthly rate predicted by analysts, as scrap metal prices soared. That monthly rise was only last higher in March 1980. Input prices continue to march higher to new record rates of inflation. Seasonally adjusted input prices jumped 3.8 percent on the month for an annual rate of 27.6 percent, also the highest since comparable records began in 1986.

■TRADE

German surplus rises

Germany’s trade surplus shot up to 18.7 billion euros (US$29.5 billion) in April, official data showed yesterday, coming in well above forecasts but against a backdrop of weaker economic activity. The surplus surpassed the March figure of 17.5 billion euros, as well as an analyst poll by Dow Jones Newswires, which had forecast 15.1 billion in April for the world’s leading exporter. Overall, exports increased by 13.9 percent to 89.8 billion euros on an annual basis, while imports gained 11.7 percent to 71.0 billion, the figures showed. In trade with countries outside the EU, exports gained 18.4 percent from April last year to 31.8 billion euros, while imports rose by 12.1 percent to 24.7 billion. Germany also posted a general current account surplus of 14.5 billion euros, down from 17.5 billion in March.

■RUSSIA

Forum brings deals

Deals worth US$14.6 billion dollars were signed on the sidelines of an economic forum in Saint Petersburg, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said on Sunday. The agreements signed included a property development deal in Saint Petersburg worth US$5 billion and a deal for the production of Fiat cars and engines in Tatarstan, officials said.

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