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25.11.2008 Business & Finance

Oil prices Rise Above $50

> Oil prices Rise Above $50

Oil prices rose above $50 a barrel yesterday in Asia as investors gained some confidence from reports that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, has chosen an economic team to tackle what could be the worst slowdown in decades.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery was up 59 cents to $50.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by mid afternoon in Singapore. The contract on Friday rose 51 cents to settle at $49.93.

In London, December Brent crude rose 17 cents to $49.36 on the ICE Futures exchange.

News that Obama plans to name New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers as director of the National Economic Council and New Mexico Governor. Bill Richardson as commerce secretary helped boost U.S. stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 6.5 per cent on  Friday but Asian markets on Monday were mostly lower with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index down 0.9 per cent and South Korea's Kospi down 3.4 per cent.

Oil future have followed stock markets recently, using equities as a proxy for economic outlook and investor sentiment.

Investors are also eyeing the impact of a government bailout of banking giant Citigroup Inc., whose stock has plummeted on worries about its financial health. The Treasury Department said on Sunday it will take a $20 billion stake in the firm as well as guaranteeing hundreds of billions of dollars in risky assets.

Investors are looking for signs that, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries ((OPEC), which accounts for 40 per cent of global supply, may reduce output quotas.

 Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said Sunday that OPEC should cut oil production by 1 million barrels per day at an informal meeting November 29 meeting in Cairo.—" AP


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