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/ 22 May 2008

Airline shares hit as soaring fuel bills dent profits

The world’s top airlines warned on Thursday that soaring fuel prices were hitting profits, prompting some to increase fares, and global leader American Airlines announced thousands of job cuts to counter higher costs. Airline stocks fell sharply in Asia and Europe after stock in American’s parent AMR shed a quarter of their value as investors fretted over the cost of jet fuel.

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/ 22 May 2008

Oil smashes $135 in Asian trade

Oil smashed past $135 a barrel for the first time on Thursday, continuing its astonishing rise following unexpected drops in United States crude and petrol stocks in a tight market, dealers said. Large institutional investors continued to pile money into oil, which is giving better returns than investments in stocks and bonds, further heating up prices, they said.

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/ 4 May 2008

Farmers face climate challenge in quest for more food

If farmers think they have a tough time producing enough rice, wheat and other grain crops, global warming is going to present a whole new world of challenges in the race to produce more food, scientists say. Farmers will have to change crop management practices, grow tougher plant varieties and be prepared for constant change in the way they operate, scientists say.

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/ 28 April 2008

ADB’s private equity investments bust limits

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is taking large risks by investing more in private equity firms than it is allowed to and internal controls of such investments show ”serious weaknesses”, a media report said on Monday. The bank ”breached its capital allocation limit for private equity funds of 5%”, said the Financial Times, adding that it needed new risk management standards.

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/ 23 April 2008

Concern mounts as oil price nears $120

International concern mounted as world oil prices edged closer to $120 a barrel Wednesday and the world’s top producer called for calm. Analysts said a weakening United States dollar, supply worries in Nigeria and the reluctance of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase output have all contributed to the price surge.

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/ 17 April 2008

Oil prices steady near record highs

Oil prices held steady near record highs in Asian trading on Thursday. New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, was four cents higher at $114,97 per barrel after a record close of $114,93 at the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday. In electronic trading after Wednesday’s session, the price crossed $115 for the first time.

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/ 15 April 2008

Oil prices scale record highs above $112 a barrel

World oil prices touched new record highs above $112 a barrel in Asian trade on Tuesday as supply concerns and a sluggish greenback remained key factors behind the hike, dealers said. They said market sentiment remained bullish after the latest United States government data showed a surprise sharp fall in the country’s energy stockpiles.

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/ 14 April 2008

Oil prices ease from record highs

Oil prices eased from recent highs in Asian trade on Monday after international finance ministers warned that near-term global economic prospects had weakened. In afternoon trade, New York’s main oil contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, fell by 29 cents to ,85 per barrel.

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/ 7 April 2008

Oil rises on poor US jobs data

Oil prices rose on Monday in Asia as prospects for further cuts in United States interest rates seemed more likely after poor US jobs data at the end of last week. The US Labour Department said on Friday that employers cut payrolls by 80 000 jobs last month, many more than analysts had expected.

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/ 24 March 2008

Oil prices drop amid US economic concerns

Oil prices slipped more than a barrel on Monday as traders worried that the flagging United States economy would cause oil demand to soften. Oil’s sharp decline started last week. Crude futures started plunging after the US Federal Reserve-backed sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase created fears of deeper economic problems.

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/ 12 March 2008

Oil bubbles near $109

Oil prices were close to $109 in Asian trade on Wednesday, underpinned by the United States dollar’s dive to a new low against the euro and supply concerns, dealers said. In late morning trade, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, traded briefly at $108,90 a barrel, up 15 cents from its record closing high of $108,75 on Tuesday.

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/ 21 February 2008

Virgin Galactic plans more spaceships

Virgin Galactic, billionaire Richard Branson’s space travel venture, plans to order five more spaceships and aims to turn a profit in five years from its commercial launch in 2010, an official said on Thursday. Prospective space travellers have so far placed deposits totalling more than -million for tickets that cost  000 each.

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/ 20 February 2008

Grobbelaar weighs into Liverpool rotation row

The row over Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez’s squad rotation system continued to rumble on Wednesday as former Anfield goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar said lack of continuity was at the root of the Premier League club’s ills. One day after current striker Fernando Torres had supported his boss’s policy of switching the first team around, Grobbelaar hit out at the controversial method.

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/ 17 February 2008

Turbulence for global aviation

Tough times are ahead for global aviation despite a return to profit last year, with many airlines mired in debt, rising fuel bills and fears of a looming United States recession, industry officials said on Monday. The global aviation industry returned to profitability in 2007 but earnings of $5,6-billion were only less than 2% of $4900-billion in revenue.

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/ 7 January 2008

Oil prices ease further from $100 level

World oil prices eased further from the historic $100-a-barrel level on Monday after weak US employment data fanned worries about recession and demand in the world’s biggest energy consumer, dealers said. In afternoon trade, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, was 71 cents lower at $97,20 a barrel.

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/ 26 December 2007

Sharapova’s got a sweet tooth

Self-confessed chocoholic Maria Sharapova will get a chance to taste some post-Christmas forbidden fruit in the privacy of her hotel as she arrives on Friday in Singapore for a weekend tennis exhibition. The Russian former number one is facing compatriot Anna Chakvetadze on Sunday night.