|30 October, 2018

Tuesday outlook: Asian shares, Brent prices retreat

Asian shares retreat on Tuesday tracking a drop in U.S. shares overnight. Saudi Arabia's stock market rose 0.6 percent on Monday, pushed by Q3 earnings. More commentary on oil prices, currencies and precious metals

An investor sits in front of displays showing stock information at a brokerage office in Beijing, China October 11, 2018.

An investor sits in front of displays showing stock information at a brokerage office in Beijing, China October 11, 2018.

Reuters/Thomas Peter
  • Asian shares drop on trade tensions between the U.S. and China
  • Saudi Arabia’s index adds 0.6 percent
  • Brent prices drop
  • The dollar strengthens, gold prices drop

Global markets

Asian shares dropped in early trading on Tuesday tracking a retreat on Wall Street overnight as trade tensions between the United States and China weighed on sentiment.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.3 percent. The index has declined more than 12 percent this month and is on track for its biggest October decline since 2008. Major U.S. indices fell steeply overnight.

“The probability of global stocks turning to a bear market is increasing,” Masanari Takada, cross-assets strategist at Nomura Securities, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s stock market ended the day 0.6 percent higher on Monday.

Strong third quarter (Q3) earnings were the main push for the market index. Saudi Arabia’s National Petrochemical shares gained 2 percent as the market reacted positively to a surge in Q3 earnings, driving Saudi Arabia’s market index to end the day 0.57 percent higher.

The company announced a Q3 net profit after zakat and tax of 307 million riyals ($81.8 million), compared to 197 million riyals for the same period a year ago.

Mobile telecommunication firm Zain Saudi jumped 6.9 percent after reporting a rise in its quarterly profit.

Saudi Industrial Investment Group rose 3.4 percent after a 41.1 percent surge in quarterly profit after tax to 319 million riyals ($85.05 million).

Dubai’s index dropped 0.4 percent weighed down by real estate shares. Emaar Properties lost 2.5 percent and Deyaar fell 2.2 percent.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.5 percent. First Abu Dhabi Bank shares dropped 1.4 percent and National Corp for Tourism and Hotels’ shares fell 9.9 percent.

Qatar's blue-chip index was up 0.5 percent, erasing earlier losses, buoyed by gains across bank stocks. Commercial Bank rose 2.3 percent while Doha Bank gained 1.6 percent.

The Egyptian blue-chip bourse gained 0.7 percent, led by a 2.1 percent rise in tobacco firm Eastern Co.

Kuwait’s index was mainly flat, Oman’s index dropped 0.6 percent while Bahrain’s index was down 0.3 percent.

Oil prices

Brent prices dropped on Tuesday tracking a retreat in equities.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $77 a barrel at 0246 GMT, down 34 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $67.08 a barrel, little changed from their last settlement.

Currencies

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies traded at 96.66, up 0.1 percent on Tuesday.

“The U.S. dollar is benefiting from its safe haven status due to the steep fall in equity prices as trade war fears escalate,” Ray Attrill, head of currency strategy at NAB, told Reuters.

Precious metals

Gold prices retreated on Monday on profit taking.

Spot gold was down 0.6 percent at $1,225.71 per ounce at 13:34 a.m. ET (1734 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled down $8.20, or 0.7 percent, at 1,227.60.

Early on Tuesday, gold prices dropped again.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,227.41 an ounce at 0200 GMT, after falling 0.3 percent on Monday.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,229.30 an ounce.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@thomsonreuters.com)


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