Oil price hits new high

SINGAPORE: Oil prices hit a record on Thursday as an escalation of violence in the Middle East triggered concerns about stability in the region. Light, sweet crude for August delivery rose to $75.88 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, breaking the previous intraday high of $75.78 set last Friday. The front-month August Brent contract on London’s ICE Futures exchange also hit a high, climbing to $75.38 a barrel, above its previous $75.09 per barrel record. — AP

China’s GDP grows

SHANGHAI: China’s economy grew by 10.9 per cent in the second quarter, a state-run newspaper reported Thursday, also reporting sharp rises in industrial production and investment. China is not due to formally report official data for the first half of the year until June 18. But data disclosed by the state-controlled media suggest that measures to curb investment and cool growth have yet to take hold. The 10.9 per cent growth in the April-June period from a year ago reported by the state-run newspaper Securities Times outpaced 10.3 per cent in the first quarter. — AP

Current account up

TOKYO: Japan’s current account surplus expanded for the first time in two months in May, rising by 15.9 per cent from a year earlier. The surplus in the current account, the broadest measure of Japan’s trade with the rest of the world, stood at $14 billion in May before seasonal adjustment. But the surplus was less than the $14.5 billion expected by economists. — AP