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Oil prices edge higher as financial markets pare some losses

NEW YORK: Oil prices edged higher on Thursday and Brent hit the highest level this year, but gains were capped after the steepest decline in U.S. retail spending since 2009 heightened investor fears of a global economic slowdown.

Brent futures were up 75 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $64.36 a barrel by 12:32 p.m. EST (1732 GMT), after hitting a 2019 high of $64.81, while U.S. crude rose 41 cents, 0.8 percent, to $54.31 a barrel, down from a session high of $54.68.

China’s January exports back to growth, but sustainability in doubt

BEIJING: China’s exports unexpectedly returned to growth in January after a shock decline the previous month, while imports fell much less than expected, but analysts said the strength was likely due to seasonal factors and predicted renewed trade weakness ahead.

Investors and policy makers are closely watching to see how quickly activity in China is cooling, or if support measures announced last year are starting to take hold, which could lift some of the gloom hanging over the global economy.

Instil investor confidence, urges Wahid

KUALA LUMPUR: Ensuring investor confidence in the Malaysian economy and its potential growth is crucial for the country to sustain its growth momentum, going forward, said Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, chairman of the board of directors, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

“So, what we need to do is to instil confidence in our economy and country so that the private sector will continue to invest, not only foreign (investors) but also the home grown private sector and government-linked companies,” said Wahid.

Link between energy firms and their CEO’s pay

NEW YORK: Oil and gas companies continue to link executive pay to the discovery of energy resources the world can’t safely burn, potentially jeopardising shareholder value, according to a new report.