Vietnam lowers gasoline prices

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam lowered fuel prices by 8 percent Tuesday as world oil prices fell to three-year lows.

Effective immediately, the price of gasoline and diesel were cut to 12,000 dong (70 cents) per liter, the government said on its Web site.

The Ministry of Finance also increased the gasoline import tax to 35 percent from 25 percent.

The government has cut gasoline prices nine times since they reached a high of 19,000 dong ($1.10) per liter in July, when world oil prices hit a record high of nearly $150 a barrel.

Oil prices fell in Asia on Tuesday as more bleak U.S. economic news and plunging stock markets darkened investor expectations for crude demand.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery fell below $48 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest since 2005.

Vietnam exports about 16 million tons of crude oil each year but has to import all refined oil products. The country’s first oil refinery is scheduled to open early next year.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hJIuoKRMrbsT4wI69l-MvOO0XDhAD94QGGF04

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