|09 August, 2018

Thursday Outlook: Asian shares, oil prices slid

Global markets and oil prices retreated early on Thursday as China's state broadcaster said China must counteract U.S. tariff in an escalating trade war between the two countries. More commentary on Middle East markets, currencies and precious metals.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 9, 2017.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 9, 2017.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • Asian shares retreat on trade tensions
  • Abu Dhabi’s index trades at four-year highs
  • Oil prices retreat tracking a drop in equitites
  • Dollar drops, gold adds gains

Global markets

Investors around the globe remained cautious on Thursday as early in the morning China’s state broadcaster said China must counteract United States' tariffs and Beijing had the confidence to protect its own interests as well as the means to do so.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was mainly unchanged as caution dominated. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.5 percent.


On Wall Street’s overnight session, the S&P traded slightly higher through most of the session but retreated to end lower at close.

“The S&P and the stock market are telling you how important the tariffs are, and the market is close to making new highs,” Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co in Sarasota, Florida, told Reuters.

The Nasdaq posted its seventh consecutive daily advance adding 0.06 percent, while the Dow was down 0.18 percent.

Middle East markets

Abu Dhabi’s stock market index reached four-year highs on Wednesday as a rise in the banking sector helped the index close 0.3 percent higher.

First Abu Dhabi Bank climbed by 0.7 percent. Other banks also rose, with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank up 1.8 percent and Union National Bank rising by 2.8 percent.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.1 percent as Emirates NBD fell by 1.0 percent, Deyaar Development was down by 5.8 percent.

Drake & Scull was down by 9.9 percent, as the company has been lagging because of concerns about its financial position, business outlook and the outcome of an investigation by United Arab Emirates authorities into financial violations by previous management.

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 0.4 percent as a diplomatic dispute between Saudi Arabia and Canada weighed on investor sentiment.

Qatar’s index dropped 0.1 percent as Industries Qatar fell 1.6 percent.

Egypt’s index rose 0.6 percent, Oman’s index dropped 0.3 percent while Kuwait’s index rose 0.2 percent and Bahrain’s index dropped 0.2 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices retreated tracking a drop in global markets due to escalating tensions between the U.S. and China.

U.S. crude was last down 12 cents at $66.82 per barrel, having shed 3.2 percent on Wednesday, while Brent was off 2 cents at $72.26.


The dollar index dropped on Wednesday after the index rose as high as 95.417, near a more than one-year high of 95.652 hit on July 19, before dropping back to 95.058, down 0.16 percent on the day.

Early on Thursday, the dollar remained weak.

Precious metals

Gold prices held steady early on Thursday on a weaker dollar.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,214.92 an ounce at 0111 GMT, having gained 0.2 percent in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,222.4 an ounce.


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(Writing by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)

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