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|05 December, 2018

Wednesday outlook: Oil prices follow global markets lower

Asian shares follow Wall Street lower on trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Egypt's index fell 2.4 percent on Tuesday. More commentary on oil prices, currencies and precious metals

A trader works at the trading floor of KBC bank in Brussels, Belgium August 25, 2015. Volatile global markets got some respite from the latest blood-letting on Tuesday as bargain hunters nudged up Asian and European stocks, though China, at the center of the rout, was smashed again. REUTERS/Yves Herman - RTX1PKZI

A trader works at the trading floor of KBC bank in Brussels, Belgium August 25, 2015. Volatile global markets got some respite from the latest blood-letting on Tuesday as bargain hunters nudged up Asian and European stocks, though China, at the center of the rout, was smashed again. REUTERS/Yves Herman - RTX1PKZI

Yves Herman - RTX1PKZI
  • Asian shares follow Wall Street lower
  • Egypt’s index drops as banking shares weigh on the index
  • Oil prices retreat amid drop in global markets
  • Dollar weakens, gold steadies

Global markets

Asian shares dropped in early trading on Wednesday, tracking a sell-off on Wall Street overnight as trade tensions between the United States and China weighed on investor sentiment.

A decline in long-term U.S. Treasury yields to three month lows following a signal by the Federal Reserve last week that it may be nearing an end to its three-year rate hike cycle has also weighed on equities.

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MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.35 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow retreated 3.1 percent and the Nasdaq sank 3.8 percent on Tuesday.

“The U.S. economy is likely to be able to withstand another rate hike or two, therefore, the flattening of the Treasury curve looks a little over done. That said, it is true that the economic outlook is murkier than before,” Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

Egypt’s blue-chip index dropped 2.4 percent on Tuesday with Commercial International Bank (COMI) dropping 2.5 percent, as well as a retreat in most other banking shares.

Abu Dhabi’s index gained 2.7 percent as First Abu Dhabi Bank was last closed 3.7 percent higher, as Tuesday was the bank's first trading day after its weighting in MSCI's emerging markets index doubled.

Dubai’s index edged up 0.3 percent as Emaar Properties added 1.8 percent and DXB Entertainments gained 5.1 percent.

Saudi Arabia's index edged down by 0.2 percent, with petrochemicals company Saudi Kayan losing 1.8 percent and Samba Financial Group shedding 1.9 percent.

The Qatari index firmed by 1.5 percent as Masraf Al Rayan jumped by 5.2 percent and Industries Qatar gained 1.5 percent, while Doha Bank rose by 4.5 percent.

Kuwait’s index gained 0.8 percent, Bahrain’s index was mainly flat and Oman’s index rose 1.9 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices dropped in early trading on Wednesday as global markets fell.

International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $61.37 per barrel at 0240 GMT, down 71 cents, or 1.1 percent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $52.64 per barrel, down 61 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last close.

Currencies

The dollar was under pressure on Wednesday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies was trading at 97.02.

Precious metals

Gold prices steadied on a weaker dollar.

Spot gold was at $1,236.85 per ounce at 0121 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.4 percent at $1,241.4 per ounce.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)

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