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Higher oil prices a mixed blessing for emerging Asia

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TOKYO -- Rising oil prices threaten to throw a wrench into the economic recovery efforts of emerging Asian nations that depend on imports to meet their energy needs. At the same time, however, they could also spur a much-needed inflow of oil money back into the region.   

Crude oil prices have been trending higher since OPEC informally agreed in September to its first production cut in eight years. Lending momentum to the price trend is the fact that Russia, a major non-OPEC oil producer, is moving closer to joining the cartel in easing output.

Prices are likely to get a further boost if the Saudi Arabia-led OPEC formalizes the output-reduction framework at a general meeting on Nov. 30. That could trigger unwanted inflation in Asian energy importers trying to goose their economies through monetary easing policies.


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