News

Asian stocks subdued, oil near five-month low on U.S. inventory build

Asian stocks subdued, oil near five-month low on U.S. inventory build
World
TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks stuttered on Thursday, dogged by the uncertainty over an intractable U.S.-China trade dispute, while oil prices flirted with five-month lows thanks to higher U.S. crude inventories and a bleaker demand outlook.

FILE PHOTO: A woman points to an electronic board showing stock prices as she poses in front of the board after the New Year opening ceremony at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), held to wish for the success of Japan s stock market, in Tokyo, Japan, January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked down 0.1%, slipping from a one-month high touched earlier this week, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.3%.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 lost 0.20% on Wednesday.

A bigger mover overnight was oil, which tumbled 4% to their lowest settlements in nearly five months, pressured by another unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and by a dimming outlook for global oil demand.

Brent crude futures barely moved at $60.01 in early trade after a 3.7% slide on Wednesday to $59.97 a barrel, the international benchmark’s lowest close since Jan. 28.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures firmed slightly to $51.29 per barrel, compared to the previous day’s close of 50.72 a barrel, its weakest settlement since Jan. 14.

“It is a bit of mystery that oil prices are so low when global stock prices remain relatively supported. But one thing is certain. Weaker oil prices will curb inflation and boost rate cut expectations,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Government data showed on Wednesday U.S. consumer prices barely rose in May, with the core annual inflation slowing to 2.0%, compared to a peak of 2.4% last July, adding to the growing expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut in coming months.

Investors will be looking to what Fed policymakers will say after its next policy meeting on June 18-19, with Fed Funds rate futures pricing in a 25-basis-point rate cut for the subsequent policy review on July 30-31.

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield dipped to 2.122 percent, a tad above Friday’s 2.053 percent, its lowest level since September 2017 while the two-year yield fell to 1.887 percent.

Bond yields have plunged worldwide in the past several weeks as investors bet the Fed, and possibly other major central banks, will cut rates to cushion the potential economic damage from the U.S.-China trade standoff.

Hopes that the leaders of the two countries will clinch a deal on the sideline of Group of 20 summit meeting in Osaka on June 28-29 have been fading as neither side has shown a willingness to compromise.

Major currencies saw limited moves, and trader say few were placing big bets ahead of key events later this month including the Fed’s policy review and the G20 meeting.

The euro slipped to $1.1293, stepping back from 2-1/2-month highs of $1.1348 touched on Friday. The dollar was little changed 108.47 yen.

The British pound is on the back foot after British lawmakers defeated an attempt led by the opposition Labour Party to try to block a no-deal Brexit by seizing control of the parliamentary agenda from the government.
Read more on reuters.com
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
World
TOKYO Reuters Asian shares slumped on Thursday as the Hong Kong market was hit for the second straight session following a day of massive street protests, while oil prices...
World
TOKYO Reuters Asian shares were led lower on Thursday as the Hong Kong market fell for second consecutive session following a day of massive street protests, while oil prices...
Business
Asian shares edged closer to 14 month highs on Friday while the dollar was on the defensive as investors grew more convinced that the Federal Reserve is settling into a phase...
World
TOKYO Reuters U.S. stock futures, Asian share markets and oil prices slipped to multi month lows on Monday on mounting worries growing Sino U.S. tensions and Washington’s new tariff threats against...
Business
Asian stocks turned lower on Thursday and the yen surged after the Bank of Japan refrained from taking further stimulus steps, hours after the Federal Reserves own review had struck...