World Bulletin / News Desk
Sudan told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that its debts must be canceled and its economy supported as it struggles to recover from losing three-quarters of its critical oil revenue to South Sudan when it seceded a year ago.
The International Monetary Fund this week urged Sudan to meet donors to discuss debt relief and some IMF board members called for "exceptional efforts" from the IMF and the global community to help Sudan reduce its debt of about $40 billion.
"Sudan requires assistance to go through this very sensitive stage towards better horizons. For that we believe that debts must be canceled and its economy supported," Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said.
South Sudan seceded in July 2011. Leaders from both states finally reached a border security deal on Wednesday to restart badly needed oil exports, but failed to solve the other key conflicts left over from when they split.
The pair failed to settle the fate of at least five disputed oil-producing regions along the border. Tensions over the unmarked 1,200-mile (1930-km) common border spilled over into fighting in April, when South Sudan's army briefly occupied the Heglig oilfield, vital to Sudan's economy.
They were also unable to reach a solution for the border region of Abyei, which has symbolic significance to both and is rich in grazing lands. Plans for a referendum have failed over the question of who should participate.
"We have been determined to tackle the reasons for war and strife despite the strong economic and political pressures being brought to bear against my country and unfair sanctions imposed by the United States," Karti said.
Washington still maintains its 1997 embargo on the country. The sanctions restrict U.S. trade and investment with Sudan and block the assets of the Sudanese government.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.