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Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, trying to assuage anger over the steepest hike in fuel prices in years, said on Monday the administration will announce more measures to ease the burden on consumers.
Asian markets were firmer but off their highs Friday, lifted by energy firms following a jump in oil prices. Both Japanese and Australian markets gained over 1% .
India and Malaysia raised retail fuel prices, joining a growing number of Asian nations no longer able to afford big subsidies in the face of record-breaking oil prices.
Malaysia will scrap fuel price controls in August and allow pump prices to rise in line with market rates as part of plans to cut the government's burgeoning subsidy bill, the domestic trade minister said on Tuesday.
Malaysia's plan for a showpiece economic zone in its south is in doubt because of the uncertain fate of the country's prime minister and a lukewarm response from big investors in nearby Singapore.
Asian markets edged up Friday, led by exporters in Japan, as fears of a deep U.S. recession receded, but gains were capped by worries that inflation will cut into growth and lead to higher borrowing costs.
Asian markets rallied Thursday with Japanese shares making their biggest daily gain in amonth, after a monthly gauge of U.S. business spending rose to its highest this year. Tokyo closed 3 percent higher, but China's main index slumped.
Malaysia's Petronas will buy a 40 percent stake in Australian energy firm Santos' Gladstone liquefied natural gas project in Australia for $2.51 billion, sending Santos' shares up 10%.
Asian markets were mostly lower Wednesday, as a cloudy U.S. economic outlook and lingering inflation fears left investors skittish. Australia, Japan and South Korea all closed over 1 percent lower.
Asian markets rebounded Tuesday from the previous session's dip, as bargain hunters scoured the market after five days of losses. Both Japan and South Korea finished over 1% higher.
The government will ban people in foreign-registered vehicles from buying gasoline in border areas of Malaysia, where heavy subsidies have kept petroleum costs low despite soaring prices internationally.
Asian stocks retreated into negative territory Monday, with most markets down more than 1% on fears that slowing U.S. consumer demand will hurt Asia's export-oriented economies. Japan shed 2.3% while South Korea slipped 1.5%.
Asian markets were mixed Friday following a pullback in oil prices. A stronger U.S. dollar lifted some exporters in the region. Japan managed to close slightly higher but Australia shed 1 percent, weighed down by declining resource stocks.
Asian markets pared back earlier losses Thursday to give a mix performance, though prospects of higher inflation and a weak U.S. economy kept investors cautious. Japan and Australia both managed to close in positive territory.
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Asian stocks were sharply lower Wednesday as fears about consumer demand in the face of high oil prices rattled investors. Japan closed 1.6% lower while Australia shed 1.4%.
Asian stocks ended lower on Tuesday, snapping a six-day rising trend, weighed by retailers as oil continued a relentless rise, keeping inflation fears high.
Asian markets hit a new four-month high Monday as a relentless rise in oil prices bolstered resource shares, but wariness about inflation and doubts about the U.S. economy kept gains in check.
Asian stocks rose cautiously Friday with markets modestly higher with Australia finishing just below the 6,000 level. But Japan closed in negative territory on profit-taking after spending most of the session in the black.
Asian markets ended mostly higher Thursday after investors welcomed benign U.S. consumer data which eased inflation fears. South Korea led the advanced finishing over 2 percent higher.