Oil kisses $115

NEW YORK: Oil prices hit all-time highs above $115 a barrel on Thursday as the dollar continued to weaken and on reports that oil and petrol stocks in the US were lower than expected. Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose as high as $115.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It eased back to $115.23 a barrel by midday in Europe. In London, Brent crude futures were up to $113.09 a barrel. — AFP

Ukraine in WTO

Geneva: Ukraine will officially join World Trade Organisation (WTO) on May 16, the Geneva-based trade body said. The former Soviet republic ratified its accession on April 10 and the WTO said it received formal notification late on Wednesday. ‘Ukraine will be a member in 30 days’ from April 16, the WTO said. Ukraine, which with Russia and Iran is one of the last large countries still outside the WTO, secured a membership invitation in February after 15 years of talks. —Afp

ADB for clean energy

MANILA: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help establish five private sector funds targeting investments of up to $1.2 billion for clean energy projects in Asia, the bank said. The Manila-based bank said it will provide $20 million to each of the five private equity funds, for total seed money of $100 million. — AP

Inflation rate falls

NEW DELHI: India’s annual rate of inflation came down slightly to 7.14 per cent for the week ended on April 5 against 7.41 per cent for the week before, official data released stated. — HNS

Oil, gas stockpiling

SINGAPORE: Asia’s top security forum should consider building strategic oil and gas stockpiles as part of efforts to ensure steady supplies in emergencies. Officials of ASEAN Regional Forum held two-day long talks in Singapore devoted to the issue of energy security. The meeting came ahead of its annual meeting. — AFP