Crude futures fall


Oil prices declined at the start of the week’s trading on Monday, but stayed above $65 a barrel, as a halt to protests in Ecuador calmed market fears of another break in the fuel supply chain. Midmorning in Singapore, light, sweet crude for September delivery fell to $65.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in Asian trading hours. — AP

PAI earnings soar


China’s second largest life insurer Ping An Insurance (PAI) (Group) Co said on Monday its first-half net profit rose by 49 per cent despite a fall in gross written premiums. In the six months ending on June 30, Ping An reported a net profit of $276 million. Gross written premiums fell to $3.77 billion. PAI was due to announce further detail on its first-half earnings on Monday. — AP

NA flies ‘smoothly’


Northwest Airlines (NA) flights were ‘running smoothly’ on Sunday, the second day of a strike by mechanics at the fourth-largest US airline. The airline had a “normal operational day,” one day after the 5,400-member Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which also represents aircraft cleaners and other service employees, launched a strike. The operational performance is consistent with other weekends during the summer. — AFP

PetroKazakhstan bid


State-owned China National Petroleum Corp said on Monday that the board of PetroKazakhstan, a Canadian firm that is a major oil producer in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, has accepted a $4.2 billion takeover offer. The deal, if completed, would add to a series of foreign acquisitions of oil and gas assets that Beijing hopes will secure energy supplies for its booming economy. The offer is to be put to PetroKazakhstan shareholders at a meeting expected to be held in October. — AP