Asian markets down, yen recovers
TOKYO stocks led a retreat in Asian markets yesterday as the yen recovered, while regional energy firms struggled with crude prices on concern about the chances of success at an upcoming producers’ meeting.
The OPEC oil cartel and Russia met in Algeria yesterday to discuss a global oil glut and overproduction that has strangled prices for more than two years.
However, hopes for a deal to limit output were hit by Iran, which said it would not accept a collective freeze – meaning that others, particularly regional rival Saudi Arabia, are also unlikely to agree as well.
The news sent both main contracts plunging almost 3 percent. They only managed meek recoveries yesterday, with West Texas Intermediate up seven cents at US$44.74 and Brent 13 cents higher at $46.10.
“OPEC members are peddling their self-interests, and while that’s the case, there can’t be a cooperative effort,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
Energy firms from Sydney to Hong Kong were in the red, in line with losses on stock markets.
In Tokyo the Nikkei index closed down 1.3pc, with a stronger yen dampening buying appetite.
The dollar bought 100.55 yen in Asian trade, slightly up from 100.36 yen in New York.
Shanghai lost 0.3pc by the close, Seoul shed 0.5pc and Singapore dipped 0.1 pc, while there were also losses in Bangkok and Jakarta. But Hong Kong staged a late burst to end 0.2pc up.
The broad losses followed gains in Asia and New York the day after Hillary Clinton was judged to have won the first presidential debate over Republican Donald Trump.
In Hong Kong the Postal Savings Bank of China was flat as it began trading after the world’s biggest initial public offering for two years.
PSBC raised $7.4 billion in the IPO, the biggest since Alibaba’s $25 billion New York listing in 2014.
But analysts attributed the lukewarm interest to the recent flat performance of large Chinese financial firms on Hong Kong’s bourse owing to the glut of options.