Economy Briefs

OIL

Qatar’s energy chief says OPEC to stand pat

DOHAQatar on Sunday ruled out any “dramatic” action by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to control prices, insisting that production and supplies were at healthy levels.

Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed Saleh al-Sada told reporters on the sideline of an industry meeting that an upcoming OPEC meeting could not be expected to make any major change.

“We think the fundamentals are fine and we can’t see shortage of supply. OPEC countries and non-OPEC countries are producing and supplying and satisfying the world demands,” he said. “Clearly the supply level and the stocks level is healthy, and we are after the stability of oil prices.”

He said he did not expect a free fall in the oil prices even though commodity prices were on the decline.

CREDIT

Fed: Consumers borrowed more on credit cards in March

Consumers used their credit cards more in March, marking only the second increase in the more than two years since the height of the financial crisis.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that consumers increased their total borrowing by $6 billion in March, the sixth consecutive monthly gain. Consumers borrowed more to finance car loans for the eighth straight month. And a category of borrowing that includes credit card use rose for only the second time since August 2008.

More frequent credit card purchases could be a sign that consumers are feeling more confident about the economy.

CURRENCY

Dollar boosted by strong jobs report

NEW YORK — A strong U.S. jobs report gave the dollar a lift Friday, while a report from a German newspaper saying Greece could withdraw from the euro bloc drove that currency lower, although some analysts were skeptical about how realistic such a scenario was.

The bump up follows a long decline for the dollar, which hit multiyear lows against several currencies earlier this week. The dollar has fallen because of the Federal Reserve’s signals that it will keep rates low for at least the next few months in order to support the economy.

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