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| 10 October, 2018

Wednesday outlook: Asian shares rebound after steep drops

Asian shares rebound after steep drops in the previous sessions. Middle East markets change little on Tuesday. More commentary on oil prices, currencies and precious metals

A woman looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

A woman looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

  • Asian shares rebound
  • Middle East markets move little
  • Oil prices retreat on IMF’s lower economic growth forecast
  • Dollar and gold steady

Global markets

Asian shares rebounded on Wednesday after dropping in the previous session to their lowest level since May last year as China’s central bank fixed its yuan at 6.9019 per dollar early in the week, thereby breaching the 6.9000 barrier and leading speculators to push the dollar up to 6.9320 in the spot market.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei gained 0.25 percent.

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“As uncertainty continues to prevail in financial markets across the world, many investors are staying on the sidelines until more clarity emerges in U.S. Treasury and Chinese markets,” Yasuo Sakuma, chief investment officer at Libra Investments, told Reuters.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.21 percent while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were little changed.

Middle East markets

Most markets in the region were mostly unchanged on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 0.4 percent as the banking sector weighed on the index. Al Rajhi Bank shed 0.5 percent and Samba Financial Group dropped 1.4 percent.

Advanced Petrochemical Company dropped 2.5 percent. It reported marginally lower third quarter net profit for the year 2018 after zakat and tax, of 202.2 million riyals, versus 208.4 million riyals a year ago. Third quarter total comprehensive income was of 112.3 million riyals versus 266.8 million riyals a year ago.

On Advanced Petrochemical, Yousef Husseini, head of the chemicals team at EFG Hermes, told Zawya by email: “They are particularly exposed to propane so we see a challenging six months ahead for the name as margins will come under pressure in this rising propane price environment.”

“However, we have a Buy rating on the name as we expect spreads to recover strongly after 1Q next year as propane prices cool and demand picks up again and as we expect the company to be a solid beneficiary of MSCI flows.”

Dubai’s index added 0.1 percent as Emaar Properties added 0.8 percent. Neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s index edged up 0.3 percent.

Egypt’s index dropped again on Tuesday, edging down 0.1 percent, it has now fallen 15 percent since the end of August.

Qatar’s index edged up 0.2 percent, Kuwait’s index dropped 0.1 percent, while Bahrain’s index dropped 0.1 percent and Oman’s index rose 0.3 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices edged down on Wednesday after the International Monetary Fund downgraded its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 on Tuesday, which could potentially lower demand for oil and its products.

Brent crude futures were down 2 cents at $84.98 a barrel by 0049 GMT, after a 1.3 percent gain on Tuesday.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down by 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $74.8 a barrel, after rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session.

“Prices are peaking at the most opportunistic time given waning global growth narrative,” Stephen Innes, head of trading APAC at OANDA in Singapore, told Reuters.

Currencies

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was largely unchanged at 95.644 on Wednesday, not far off from 96.163 reached during the previous session - its highest level since August 20.

“The rising U.S. bond yields have obviously provided support to the dollar,” Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.

“On the short-term, the dollar may be sold, but I don’t think that will last long. The dollar will start to strengthen again.”

The euro added 0.1 percent to $1.1507.

Precious metals

Gold prices steadied in early trading on Wednesday.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,188.20 per ounce at 1822 GMT, after earlier touching its lowest since September 28 at $1,183.04.

U.S. gold futures settled up $2.9, or 0.24 percent, at $1,191.5 an ounce.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@thomsonreuters.com)


 

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