World Bulletin / News Desk
Asian energy firms retreated Tuesday after a plunge in oil prices, while the pound's troubles mounted on worries about Britain's plans to leave the European Union.
The deal sent the cost of a barrel surging last month towards $60 on hopes the cuts could reduce a global glut that had sent prices to near 13-year lows last February.
However, Iraq’s oil minister said exports from its southern ports reached a record high in December, leading to suspicion it will not stick to the cuts, which came into effect on January 1.
"The Iraqi headlines have raised concerns about compliance," John Kilduff, a partner at New York-based hedge fund Again Capital LLC, told Bloomberg News.
"We need to see compliance outside of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the other Gulf states."
While both contracts edged up Tuesday, regional energy firms fell although they pared early losses. Sydney-listed Woodside Petroleum lost 0.1 percent and BHP Billiton was down 0.4 percent.
Inpex lost 1.5 percent in Tokyo and CNOOC was down 1.3 percent in Hong Kong. PetroChina was flat.
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The French vote was being closely watched as a bellwether for populist sentiment following the election of Donald Trump as US president and Britain's vote to leave the EU.
IFC CEO Philippe Le Houerou said the fund will "lower the risk for the private sector and attract new investors -- essentially creating a market where there was none."
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"We might have to extend in order to reach the target... of stock levels," Khalid al-Falih told an energy forum in Abu Dhabi, referring to a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day.
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"We are optimistic that the policy measures we have taken already place us on the path of recovery," OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said at an energy forum in Abu Dhabi.
The IMF said "hundreds of millions" of people have been lifted out of poverty through economic integration and technological progress, "helping to reduce global income inequality."
In its latest World Economic Outlook report, the IMF cut its 2017 growth forecast for the region comprising the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan to 2.6 percent, down from the 3.1 percent projected in January.
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