Rising oil turns up heat on vulnerable emerging economies


Rising oil turns up heat on vulnerable emerging economies

A rise in oil prices to four-year highs is heaping pressure on big emerging-market crude consumers such as Turkey, India, Indonesia and South Africa that are already grappling with current account deficits, weak currencies and rising inflation.

Emerging markets worldwide have been buffeted in recent months by the strong dollar, climbing U.S. interest rates and slowing growth momentum with Turkey and Argentina descending into full-blown currency crises.

Meanwhile Brent crude prices have risen above $80 per barrel, thanks largely to coordinated production cuts by some of the world’s biggest oil exporters, as well as impending U.S. sanctions on crude exporter Iran that could wipe yet more supply off the market.

Some analysts now think benchmark prices could return to $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014. But for a number of importers such as India, Turkey or Indonesia – who all have seen their currencies tumble to record lows this year – oil is already more expensive now at $85 a barrel than it was back in 2008 when the price hit a record $147 a barrel.  Read more

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