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Fuel shortages in Nepal have forced former US president Jimmy Carter, who is battling brain cancer, to cancel his visit to the country next month, Habitat for Humanity International said. The Nobel laureate had planned to visit with the Atlanta-based non-profit organisation as part of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to build homes in Chitwan, 97 kilometres (60 miles) from the capital Kathmandu. "I am saddened that we have had to cancel this year's Carter Work Project," Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International's chief executive, said in a statement released late Thursday.
Mining and commodities giant Glencore, burdened by debt and a commodity price crash, announced Friday it was slashing its worldwide zinc output by a third. "The main reason for the reduction is to preserve the value of Glencore's reserves in the ground at a time of low zinc and lead prices, which do not correctly value the scarce nature of our resources," the miner said in a statement. Glencore, which claims to be one of the world's largest miners and producers of zinc, said it was slashing zinc production by 500,000 tonnes across its operations in Australia, South America and Kazakhstan.
Malaysia's ringgit and Indonesia's rupiah led an emerging market rally against the dollar Friday while Asian equities also pushed higher after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting suggested it could keep borrowing costs at record lows into next year. Energy firms tracked a surge in oil prices as hopes for crude demand picked up and ongoing crises in the Middle East fanned supply worries. The gains across assets come after a painful July-September quarter that saw trillions wiped off global markets owing to worries about the state of China's economy and an expected US interest rate hike.