Oil was unlikely to fall below $100 per barrel as strong demand from emerging economies such as China and India put a floor under prices, a member of Kuwait’s top oil council said in remarks published on Sunday.

Crude prices on the international market are unlikely to drop below $100 a barrel in the near term despite shedding almost $33 per barrel in a month, oil market experts said on Monday.

They say they don’t anticipate a full-blown collapse in crude prices despite a slowdown of the US economy, the world’s biggest oil importer. Neither do they see a major spike in crude prices due to the latest geopolitical tensions erupting between Russia and Georgia, which has led to Russia resorting to airstrikes and pounding Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.

“The oil market doesn’t seem to be very perturbed by the happenings in Georgia. There is a downward bias in the oil market that will continue for a little while,” said Dalton Garis, associate professor of Economics at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi.

On Monday, in early trade, Brent crude futures on the ICE in London were trading a shade above $114 a barrel. In contrast, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the Nymex crude oil futures for September delivery in the US were trading close to $116.50 per barrel.

“The crude prices in the near-term look like trading in a range of $100-$120 a barrel,” said an oil analyst, who didn’t want to be identified.

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ATM machines have been around forever. They are convenient to those of us on the run however pose a great element of risk. Using an ATM machine in a safe manner requires awareness. Just because an ATM machine is available 24-hours a day doesn’t mean it is safe to use it at all hours of the night.

Most ATM robberies occur at night between 8:00 PM and midnight. ATM robbers are usually males under 25 years of age and usually work alone. ATM robbers usually wait nearby for a victim to withdraw cash. Most ATM robbery victims are women and were alone when robbed.

Most claim that they never saw the robber coming. Most ATM robbers use a gun or claim to have a concealed weapon when confronting the victim and demanding their cash.

Here are some tips that can make the ATM process safer:

Use ATM machines in well-lit, high-traffic areas. Don’t use ATM machines that are remote or hidden behind buildings, pillars, walls, or away from public view. Beware of obvious hiding places like shrubbery or overgrown trees. ATM robbers like to have the element of surprise and no witnesses.

Robbers like good escape routes such as nearby freeway on-ramps or high-speed thoroughfares.

Choose an ATM that looks and feels safe, even if it is a couple of miles out of your way. Try and limit your use to daylight hours. Try to rake someone with you if you have to go after dark. When you drive up to an ATM, look around the area for any suspicious persons. If you see anyone suspicious standing nearby or sitting in a car, drive away. When you approach an ATM on foot be prepared and have your access card ready.
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In less than a month crude oil, which some saw hitting $200 a barrel by year-end, has plunged $32 but a rebound could happen, for example, over the Iranian nuclear crisis, analysts say. From a record-high $147.27 on July 11, the New York futures contract slid to about $115 on Friday, losing almost 22 per cent in the course of four weeks.

In its wake, most other commodity prices, which were driven higher by the oil market surge, have fallen from their peaks.

An ounce of gold has dropped to $800 from $1,000; farm commodity prices are between 25pc and 40pc lower and petrol prices have dropped about 6pc.

“Oil is at a tipping point. It is an exaggeration to cry that a bubble has burst. It is a break, Oil market was not in a bubble.”

For James Williams at WTRG Energy, the law of supply and demand reins.

“The market is simple reflecting the fundamentals of supply and demand. Markets participants are considering the world slowdown, the deterioration in expectations for the growth worldwide,” Williams said.

The slowdown in economic growth has a significant impact on energy consumption, analysts say.

A case in point is US drivers, known as huge consumers of petrol, drove a third less in May compared with a year ago. Motor fuel consumption fell more than 2pc.

This trend is expected to extend to the emerging market countries where the increasing weakening of fuel subsidies is going to force consumers to fill up their tanks less.

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Your personal finances have a lot more in common with a football team than you might think.

OK, I admit it. I like football. This season has been especially exciting to watch. Although I don’t understand all the strategies just yet, I enjoy watching the carefully planned plays. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but nevertheless, very fun stuff to watch.

As I’m watching the games, it occurs to me that football and finances have a lot in common. (I admit, sometimes it’s hard for me to turn my ‘work’ brain off, even in the middle of an exciting game). The plays are carefully planned, the teams spend countless hours practicing and strategizing, there is an experienced coach that guides the team to victory and they never give up.

Their goal is specific, understood by all and there is serious motivation to win. Do you see where I am going with this?

Your money matters, your financial roadmap, require the same mindset as those big, bad, burly football players. If you don’t have a specific plan in place, if you don’t practice and don’t have someone guiding you, you will probably not end up where you want to. When it’s time to send your kids to college, go on that vacation or retire, where are those funds coming from? What if you lost your job unexpectedly? Do you have reserves to fall back on?

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All credit cards offer many benefits and features. Some come with a few disadvantages. To convey my point I will leave the disadvantages for others to write about. All credit cards are good in their own way for their own purpose and for that specific applicant. There are many credit cards for applicants with good credit, bad credit or with no credit at all.

There are the so called “bad credit cards” and the “good credit cards.” Bad credit cards fit consumers looking to build “good credit.” Good credit cards fit consumers with good credit looking to take advantage of benefits that suit their daily lives. So are all credit cards good? Yes, because in some cases you have to start somewhere and sometimes, it comes at a price.

Consumers with good credit attract the credit cards that would better suit their income, credit history, spending habits and paying habits. Many credit cards that approach consumers with good credit tend to offer great transfer rates and lower interest rates on future purchases as long as the consumer’s credit doesn’t change in the wrong direction.

Everyone has their individual needs and perceptions of their credit. So the only challenging factor for someone with good credit is to maintain the good credit status and keep a close eye on your credit limit to credit debt ratio. In my opinion, your ratio should be at around 25% to 40% because it is a responsible level to be proactive in managing your credit cards. A 25% credit limit to credit debt ratio would be $250.00 balance on a $1,000.00 credit limit.

Instead of them being called bad credit cards they should be called best credit cards. If you cannot get over yourself by accepting a credit building card, maybe a secured credit card from your bank would be the best choice as long as they report to the credit bureau. Never think bad credit is forever or that it can’t ever improve, it can with responsible steps.

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Eleven people were recently indicted on multiple charges of fraud and identity theft after stealing more than 41 million credit and debit card numbers, according to Associated Press. The 11 who stole the credit and debt information by hacking into the wireless networks of some of the nation’s largest retailers.

It is believed to be the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. The charges include conspiracy, computer intrusion, fraud and identity theft.

“While technology has made our lives much easier it has also created new vulnerabilities,” U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said in a statement. “This case clearly shows how strokes on a keyboard with a criminal purpose can have costly results.”

They used sophisticated computer hacking techniques, that would allow them to breach security systems and install programs that gathered enormous quantities of personal financial data, which they then allegedly either sold to others or used themselves, and in total, they caused widespread loses by banks, retailers, and consumers.

After the credit card information was stolen it was either sold or encrypted onto credit cards and used to make purchases and withdraw money from ATMs.

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During the recent stock market carnage, two sectors that investors seem to be complaining the most about are real estate and banking. Many banks’ stocks, even those of major banks have fallen by around 50 per cent.

As I write this, Banks are all down around 50 per cent from their one-year high points. However, real estate stocks have done far worse. The stocks of companies that were once pointed to as leading lights of the industry have fallen by 70 to 80 per cent or even more in some cases. Curiously, the fall in real estate stocks appears to have surprised many people far more than banks’ declines have.

The reason appears to be that there are plenty of stories around that supposedly explain why bank stocks have declined. The agricultural loan waiver was one, the rise in interest rates is another and the sub prime mayhem in the financial sectors in the US (and to a lesser extent, Europe) is yet another. Do these stories make sense? By themselves, they do, yet they don’t add up to the kind of price decline that has happened.

Interestingly, unlike real estate, there are still buyers for bank stocks. Many mutual fund managers for example, are happy that they can now buy bank stocks at far more reasonable prices. It seems that bank stocks are basically suffering from a stampede towards the exit from foreign investors who are now painting all financial stocks around the world with the same brush.

Investors in both these sectors are complaining loudly. So does that mean that bank investors and real estate investors are in the same boat? Not quite. Here’s a story that will help you figure out the difference:
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The good news for women: they live longer, so they will have longer to enjoy their retirement. The bad news: they live longer, and so their retirement will be much more expensive than for their male counterparts.

The fly in the ointment: As a woman, you may have to put in more effort before you get to enjoy a worry-free, financially secure retirement.

Women earn an average of 76 percent of men’s salaries. Does that shock you? Yes, even now, women are still way behind the earning curve in corporate America. But rather than get into a discussion of the fairness or unfairness of it all, let’s concentrate on just what women can do to ensure that they aren’t left out to dry in their retirement age!

After all, because women typically live longer than men, combined with the skyrocketing divorce rate, many women will find themselves alone in their older years. (Statistics show that most women are alone by age 56!) And the figures show us that if a woman took out any time from her career to have children (about seven years) she will pay for it later with only 50% of what her male counterparts will receive in retirement benefits.

So, what can a woman do to ensure that she can retire in style? Start by taking a look at some of our suggestions below.

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This article explains a few things about motivating your way to SELF IMPROVEMENT, and if you’re interested, then this is worth reading, because you can never tell what you can never tell what you dont know.

When you think about Self Improvement, what do you think of first? Which aspects of Self Improvement are important, which are essential, and which ones can you take or leave? You be the judge.

Pain may sometimes be the reason why people change. Getting flunked grades make us realize that we need to study. Debts remind us of our inability to look for a source of income. Being humiliated gives us the ‘push’ to speak up and fight for ourselves to save our face from the next embarrassments. It may be a bitter experience, a friend’s tragic story, a great movie, or an inspiring book that will help us get up and get just the right amount of motivation we need in order to improve ourselves.

With the countless negativities the world brings about, how do we keep motivated? Try on the tips I prepared from A to Z…

A – Achieve your dreams. Avoid negative people, things and places. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

B – Believe in your self, and in what you can do.

C – Consider things on every angle and aspect. Motivation comes from determination. To be able to understand life, you should feel the sun from both sides.

D – Don’t give up and don’t give in. Thomas Edison failed once, twice, more than thrice before he came up with his invention and perfected the incandescent light bulb. Make motivation as your steering wheel.

E – Enjoy. Work as if you don’t need money. Dance as if nobody’s watching. Love as if you never cried. Learn as if you’ll live forever. Motivation takes place when people are happy.

F – Family and Friends – are life’s greatest ‘F’ treasures. Don’t loose sight of them.

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