|29 July, 2019

Monday outlook: Asian shares start week on back foot

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.4% in slow trade. Japan's Nikkei dipped 0.5% and Shanghai blue chips 0.2%

Stock market graph chart. The digital information for Forex trading market.

Stock market graph chart. The digital information for Forex trading market.

Getty Images/ Witthaya Prasongsin
  • Asian shares fail to track Wall Street’s surge
  • Oil prices retreat following last week’s rally
  • Saudi Arabia’s index gains 0.5%
  • Dollar firms, gold rises

Global markets

Asian shares retreated early on Monday, despite a meeting later in the week between United States and and Chinese trade negotiators, as expectations are low for a breakthrough.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that both sides can agree on a narrow agreement that addresses important trade-related issues, such as U.S. demands to increase exports,” analysts at Barclays said in a note, according to a Reuters report.

“That said, we are skeptical about the prospects of a broader agreement that includes the more challenging security-related issues.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.4% in slow trade. Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.5% and Shanghai blue chips 0.2%.

On Friday, the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.31% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.29%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 51.47 points, or 0.19%, to 27,192.45, the S&P 500 gained 22.19 points, or 0.74%, to 3,025.86 and the Nasdaq Composite added 91.67 points, or 1.11%, to 8,330.21.

Oil prices

Oil prices dropped on Monday following a rally last week and after Iran described emergency talks on a multi-party nuclear agreement with a group of signatories as “constructive”, suggesting an easing of tensions in the Middle East.

Still, tensions remain high around the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil passageway, as Iran refused to release a British-flagged tanker it seized but granted India consular access to 18 Indian crew members, a Reuters report said.

Brent crude futures were up 23 cents, or 0.4%, at $63.23 a barrel by 0054 GMT. Prices rose 1.6% last week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down by 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $56.08 a barrel. WTI gained 1% last week.

Middle East markets

The Saudi index rose 0.5% with Al Rajhi Bank and Riyad Bank gaining 1% and 3.1% respectively. National Commercial Bank ended the day 0.6% higher.

In Abu Dhabi, the index was the worst performer in the region, losing 0.7% as the United Arab Emirates biggest lender, FAB, fell 1.1% and telecom Etisalat dropped 0.6%.

Dubai's index fell 0.2%, weighed down by blue chips Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD which lost 1.3% and 0.4% respectively.

Qatar was also weaker, with the index losing 0.6% as the region's largest lender Qatar National Bank fell 1% and petrochemicals and metals company Industries Qatar dropped 0.7%.

Kuwait’s premier market index added 0.6%, Bahrain’s index edged 0.3% higher while Oman’s index dropped 0.2% and Egypt’s blue-chip index fell 0.4%.


The dollar firmed early on Monday following gains on Friday.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, stood little changed at 97.968, after having hit a two-month high of 98.093 on Friday.

Precious metals

Gold prices rose on Monday.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,423.49 per ounce, as of 0121 GMT.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,423.20 an ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)


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© ZAWYA 2019

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