|27 May, 2019

Monday outlook: Asian shares, oil prices stabilise

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was mainly flat

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company uses a smartphone in front of a monitor showing the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, in Tokyo December 3, 2013. Asian shares eased and the dollar firmed on Tuesday as unexpectedly strong U.S. factory activity bolstered expectations the Federal Reserve will soon trim its stimulus, while the yen tumbled on speculation of further central bank easing. The dollar hit a six-month high of 103.175 yen, extending a 0.5 percent gain overnight and less than 1 yen away from a 4-1/2 year high reached in May. REUTERS/Issei Kato

An employee of a foreign exchange trading company uses a smartphone in front of a monitor showing the Japanese yen's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, in Tokyo December 3, 2013. Asian shares eased and the dollar firmed on Tuesday as unexpectedly strong U.S. factory activity bolstered expectations the Federal Reserve will soon trim its stimulus, while the yen tumbled on speculation of further central bank easing. The dollar hit a six-month high of 103.175 yen, extending a 0.5 percent gain overnight and less than 1 yen away from a 4-1/2 year high reached in May. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Reuters/Issei Kato
  • Asian shares flatten, remain weak
  • Oil prices stabilise, following last week’s drops
  • Egypt’s EGX30 gains 1.5 percent on Sunday
  • Dollar drops, gold rises

Global markets

Asian shares flattened early on Monday, but were still trading near four-month lows amid trade tensions between the United States and China.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was mainly flat, with market holidays in the U.S. and U.K. denting trading volumes.

On Friday, Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95.22 points, or 0.37%, to 25,585.69. The S&P 500 gained 3.82 points, or 0.14%, to 2,826.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.73 points, or 0.11%, to 7,637.01.

Oil prices

Oil prices were also flat on Monday, following sharp drops last week.

Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $68.79 per barrel at 0247 GMT, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.54 per barrel, 9 cents below their last settlement.

“Sentiment remains fragile and vulnerable to any deterioration in U.S.-China trade frictions,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore, told Reuters.

Las week, Brent Crude fell 4.5 percent and WTI dropped 6.4 percent.

Middle East markets

Saudi's index dropped 2% on Sunday, with Saudi British Bank (SABB) falling 3.5%, Samba Financial Group dropping 3.4%, and National Commercial Bank, the country's largest lender shedding 3.3%. Savola Group, Saudi's largest food products company, was the worst performer, dropping 6.2%.

Dubai's index was down 0.3%. Builder Arabtec shed 5.3%, Dubai's largest listed developer Emaar Properties lost 3.6% and property firm Deyaar fell by 1.6%.  The Abu Dhabi index slipped by 0.1%.

Egypt's blue-chip index gained 1.5%, bolstered by energy and telecommunications stocks.

Orascom Investment Holding gained 8.6%, Egyptian Chemical Industries (Kima) gained 7.3% and Telecom Egypt was up 4.3%.

Qatar’s index dropped 0.3 percent, Bahrain’s index edged 0.1 percent higher while Oman’s index edged 0.1 percent lower and Kuwait’s premier market index added 0.3 percent.

Currencies

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched down 0.1% to 97.565.

Precious metals

Gold prices edged higher on a weaker dollar.

Spot gold edged up 0.2% to $1,286.89 per ounce as of 0129 GMT, rising for a third session in a row.

U.S. gold futures also gained 0.2%, to $1,285.50 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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