Oil Declines Amid Stronger Dollar, Crude Oversupply in U.S.
Oil prices fell Friday, tumbling as the dollar strengthened and as a supply glut in top consumer, the United States, trumped worries about falling production from Libya. The market had come under pressure from Wednesday's Energy Department report, which showed a 7.3 million-barrel rise in crude inventories to their highest December level on record. Analysts had expected a seasonal decline. The slide was exacerbated as oil prices reacted to a strengthening dollar index.
Panama Economic Activity Picks Up in October
Panama's economic growth accelerated in October from a year ago, the government said on Friday. The economy grew 5.54 percent, its fastest rate so far this year, and up from 5.10 percent in September, due to an improvement in fisheries, mining, construction and shipping through the Panama canal. Panama's economy has been cooling as $15 billion of infrastructure projects, mainly for the expansion of the Panama Canal, have been winding down.
Pemex Output Steady in November, Exports Up
Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex said on Friday its crude oil production held steady in November from the previous month at 2.363 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest monthly figure on record. Crude export volumes in November were up 8.1 percent from October at 1.23 million bpd, Pemex said. Energy Ministry output records date to January 1990. (Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Editing by Leslie Adler)
China, Vietnam to Address Maritime Disputes
Senior Chinese and Vietnamese officials have agreed to settle their maritime disputes without resorting to "megaphone diplomacy", the official Xinhua news service said on Saturday. The agency's report follows a meeting in Hanoi on Friday between Chinese political advisor Yu Zhengsheng and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and it comes as Beijing backs off from aggressive attempts to press its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
160,000 Malaysians Displaced by Floods
The number of people evacuated due to Malaysia's worst-ever floods jumped to more than 160,000 on Saturday, as Prime Minister Najib Razak reached the worst-hit state after cutting short a vacation in the U.S. Najib arrived in Kelantan, which has the biggest problems among eight affected states, following his return from Hawaii on Friday after public criticism he had been absent as flooding worsened.
Russia to Supply Coal, Electricity to Ukraine
Russia has agreed on a new deal to supply coal and electricity to Ukraine, which is struggling with a lack of raw fuel for power plants due to a separatist conflict in the industrial east, Russian officials said on Saturday. The move comes a day after Kiev said it would suspend train and bus services to Crimea, effectively creating a transportation blockade to and from the region annexed by Moscow in March this year. Kiev has briefly cut off electricity to Crimea before.