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Crude Collapse Seen Boosting China’s South American Clout

The worst commodities rout in six years is opening the door for China to increase its influence in Latin America, home to the biggest oil reserves outside the Middle East.

China, with the world’s largest foreign reserves at almost $4 trillion, agreed to a combined $27.5 billion of funding and investment with Venezuela and Ecuador in separate deals announced by South American officials this week in a bid to shore up their battered finances.