Oil price hits Asian currencies

The high oil price environment has been an ongoing affair since the end of last year, but surging prices are putting pressure on the largely oil-importing countries in the region. September 2004 crude oil futures have risen 40% since the start of the year, and some analysts expect that the average for the Opec (Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries) basket oil price will be $35 per barrel in 2004. "The current average for the year is $33, so this implies prices staying around curren