Weak Asian economy may drag down global oil demand

Asia-and in particular, Japan and China-is pivotal to global oil demand, and Asia's economy was weak before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the US rocked the overall world economy, said Fereidun Fesharaki, a senior fellow at the Honolulu-based East-West Center and president and founder of FACTS Inc. Fesharaki spoke in Houston early last week to a joint gathering of the Asia Society and the International Association for Energy Economics.He warned, "We are in for a period of [economic] difficulty worldwide.... As far as the energy sector is concerned, the impacts are going to be quite severe."Asia is experiencing economic weakness because of recent high oil prices and a strong US doll...

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