CHINA & KAZAKHSTAN AGREE: $10 BLN
China is expected to sign 30 cooperative agreements worth $10 billion with Kazakhstan as Premier Li Keqiang begins his first official visit to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.
Xinhua did not give details, but quoted Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping as highlighting a joint-venture logistics base and urging interconnectivity with highways, railways, ports, air routes, oil and gas pipelines.
"The Sino-Kazakh cooperation is developing rapidly. The volume of trade between the two countries is increasing annually by 20 percent," Xinhua quoted Li as saying in an article.
Kazakhstan has become China's second largest trade partner in the Commonwealth of the Independent States, while China is the second largest trade partner and the largest export market of Kazakhstan, Li was quoted as saying.
Li will also visit Serbia and Thailand, but some of the most touchy topics he could encounter are off the agenda, including the fate of Muslims from western China who have fled to Southeast Asia.
Li's trip, from Dec. 14 to 20, also takes in summits with Eastern European, Central Asian and Southeast Asian leaders.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.