Oil prices above $99

SINGAPORE: The price of crude hit a record on Wednesday in Asian trading, surpassing $99 per barrel. The price of light US crude, which is seen as a reference point for worldwide oil prices, rose to $99.20 per barrel in Singapore. The hike in Asia came after the price of light, sweet crude for January delivery also surpassed $99 for the first time in New York. — DPA

Trade surplus rises

TOKYO: Japan’s trade surplus rose

by 66.1 per cent in October from a year ago as exports recorded an all-time high value in yen. The surplus grew to $9.27 billion, marking the third consecutive monthly increase. Exports remained robust during the period despite a stronger yen, which makes Japanese products more expensive abroad. — AP

Asian gas producer

YANGON: Myanmar is the biggest producer of natural gas in Asia and has the potential to ascend higher globally because many gas projects remain to be implemented. Currently, the country ranks 10th at the world level with its gas sale, up from 11th previously, while it represents the first in Asia. Myanmar started production and export of gas to Thailand in the late 1990s through a pipeline from the Yadana field in the gulf of Mottama, and Yetagun field off the Tanintharyi coast. — Xinhua


SINGAPORE: Japan and Southeast Asia endorsed a free trade agreement on Wednesday under which tariffs would be eliminated on 90 percent of imports by both sides, but key items such as rice and beef would remain protected. The accord, which was crafted after two-and-a-half years of negotiations, will be formally signed next year after parliamentary approvals of member countries. — AP