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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

Crude Oil Prices Hit Record High Near $104 Per Barrel, Dollar Continues to Fall

Crude hits record high near $104 2008-03-04 05:14:22

    NEW YORK, March 3 (Xinhua) --

Crude-oil futures rallied to a record high near 104 dollars a barrel on Monday, boosted by weak U.S. dollar and continuing investment flows into commodities.

   Crude for April delivery surged 2.11 dollars to a new all-time high of 103.95 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in early morning trading. The front-month contract closed at 102.45 dollars a barrel, up 61 cents, or 0.7 percent.

    The dollar tumbled to all-time lows against the euro and a basket of major currencies Monday before regaining some lost ground after better-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data.

    Analysts said that there is no top in sight yet for crude futures because hedge funds are looking at how far the U.S. dollar will fall.

    As the dollar fell and the health of the U.S. economy worsened, traders said oil offered an inflation hedge and is attractive to foreign investors who can buy dollar-priced commodities at a relative bargain, they added.

    Further support for oil came from signs that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are not planning to change output policy at their meeting in Vienna this week.

    Tensions in the Middle East, South America and Nigeria remain supportive of oil because of their potential to disrupt supply, according to Reuters.

    In Nigeria, attackers blew up a police houseboat on Bonny Island, an oil and gas export hub in southern Niger Delta. Tight supplies of heating oil and diesel fuel in Europe also provided some support for oil. 

Dollar falls to 3-year low in Tokyo 2008-03-03 17:20:48  

    TOKYO, March 3 (Xinhua) --

The U.S. dollar tumbled to the 102 yen level Monday in Tokyo for the first time since January 2005.

    At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 102.68-70 yen against 103.68-78 yen in New York and 104.33-35 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Friday.

    The dollar hit a session low of 102.61 and a high of 103.63, trading most frequently at 103.05 yen.

    Market watchers attributed the dollar's depreciation to mounting fears of a U.S. economic recession.

    The euro traded at 1.5200-5202 dollars and 156.08-12 yen, against late Friday's quotes of 1.5174-5184 dollars and 157.41-51 yen in New York and 1.5231-5233 dollars and 158.91-95 yen in Tokyo. 

Editor: An Lu

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