Thursday, 5 June 2008

:: Jun 5 Stocks, oil fall as Asia raises fuel prices

Thursday June 5, 12:51 am ET
By Kevin Plumberg HONG KONG (Reuters) - Oil prices fell below $122 a barrel on Thursday, down for a third day as the U.S. dollar climbed and fears over demand grew after India and Malaysia raised fuel prices, weighing on resource-related shares.

Stocks in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur:^KLSE - News) were on track for the biggest single-day decline in 12 weeks, leading Asian equities 1 percent lower, according to an MSCI index (^MIAS00000PUS - News).

Governments in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, Sri Lanka and Taiwan last month also cut their budget-draining fuel subsidies at the risk of pushing up inflation and depressing consumer spending.

"Weaker demand is the main concern now," said Tetsu Emori, fund manager at Astmax Co Ltd in Tokyo. "With domestic prices in these emerging countries now quite high, people will cut their consumption and that is a worry for the market."

Oil prices have also been weighed by the recovery in the dollar, which has been bolstered by the growing view the Federal Reserve is more likely to raise rates to fight inflation than cut them to spur growth.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke startled markets for the second time this week with his candor about price pressures, saying on Wednesday that rising long-term inflation expectations were a "significant concern."


--> Observe, the so-called "markets" have absolutely no sense of their ecological situation and very little concern for the general human condition, were it not for politics, which they would dearly love to be able to, simply, do away with: thus, of course, also doing away with themselves. I am not a father, only an uncle. But, Jesus, do I feel like one more and more these days. No, I don't think I'm just showing my age... (to be 54 this July 27th).

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