It’s Friday night at Claridge’s Hotel in central London and harried-looking bartenders are rushing to serve customers piled three-deep at the bar. Property investors are lining up too, not for the 16-pound ($25) mojitos and 27-pound glasses of Laurent Perrier Brut Rose champagne, but for the luxury hotels that can command such prices during an economic slowdown.
China raised retail fuel prices for the second time this year after oil’s advance to a 30-month high undermined the government’s efforts to cap costs and cool inflation in the world’s second-largest economy.
Chinese coal for generating power is at its cheapest in eight months relative to Australia’s after the government in Beijing froze prices to curb inflation and the worst flooding in Queensland since 1974 disrupted imports.
Petec Trading & Investment Corp., a Vietnamese state-owned oil importer, is seeking to buy 75,000 metric tons of gasoline and diesel for delivery in August, according to an document e-mailed to potential suppliers.