“The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting is the week’s biggest event so there will be a degree of caution prevailing in the markets,” Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management, told Reuters.
“Expectations for a rate cut in July have increased significantly, so the markets could experience disappointment if the Fed does not send strong signals of impending easing.”
Oil prices dropped early on Tuesday on worries about global economic growth due to trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
But tensions in the Middle East are likely to keep prices supported, analysts told Reuters.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures were down 16 cents, or 0.3%, at $60.78 a barrel by 0215 GMT. They fell 1.7% in the previous session on concerns about slowing global growth.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were down 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $51.92. They dropped 1.1% on Monday.
“The (oil) market is in a rut and desperately in need of some robust economic data to get it out of this funk,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets in Bangkok, told Reuters.
Middle East markets
Saudi Arabia’s index rose 1 percent on Monday, recovering some losses from previous sessions. Saudi Arabian Mining Co gained 3.9% and Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company jumped 6.2%.
In Dubai, the index traded flat with telecom operator Emirates Integrated Telecommunications gaining 1%.
The Abu Dhabi index extended its losses for the third straight session mainly pressured by its financial stocks. A 0.8% slide in First Abu Dhabi Bank, and a 2.7% drop in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank pushed the index down by 1.1%.
Qatar's index declined 0.9 percent with market heavyweight Industries Qatar dropping 2.1% and Commercial Bank losing 3.1%.
In Egypt, the index increased 0.2 percent with Commercial International Bank closing 1.1% higher and Elsewedy Electric was up 2.4%.
Kuwait’s premier market index edged up 0.1 percent, Bahrain’s index was flat and Oman’s index edged up 0.1 percent.
The dollar was mainly unchanged on Tuesday.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last flat on the day at 97.573.
Gold prices were flat on Tuesday.
Spot gold was steady at $1,340.51 as of 0126 GMT.
U.S. gold futures were almost unchanged at $1,343 an ounce.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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