“There has been an increasing disconnect between Asian markets and U.S. markets over the last six months,” Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia in Sydney, told Reuters.
“U.S. markets were buoyed on President Trump possibly pulling back on auto tariffs on both Europe and Japan, but really Asian markets have latched on the fact that he’s not letting up in the trade war against China,” he added.
Oil prices rose on Thursday, despite an unexpected rise in U.S. inventories, as tensions in the Middle East triggered fears over supply disruptions.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said that U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week to their highest since September 2017, while gasoline stockpiles decreased more than forecast.
Brent crude futures were at $72.16 a barrel at 0349 GMT, up 39 cents, or 0.5%, from their last close. Brent closed up 0.7% on Wednesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.41 per barrel, up 39 cents, or 0.6%, from their previous settlement. WTI closed up 0.4% in the last session.
Middle East markets
Saudi Arabia's index increased 1.3% on Wednesday, with Al Rajhi Bank gaining 2.1% and Alinma Bank rising 2.6%, while National Commercial Bank was up 0.9%.
In Dubai, the index closed 1.1% lower with real estate firm Emaar Properties dropping 2.3%. Arabtec Holding plunged 7%, after reporting a drop in its first-quarter profit.
The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.5%, led by a 0.6% fall in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).
Qatar's blue chip index added 0.7% with Mesaieed Petrochemical soaring 9.5%, to reach its highest in nearly four years.
Kuwait’s premier market index edged 0.2 percent higher, Bahrain’s index was flat and Oman’s index was flat.
Against the yen, the dollar dipped to 109.49 early on Thursday, while the euro rose 0.1% to $1.1208.
Gold prices were mainly unchanged.
Spot gold was steady at $1,295.84 per ounce at 0103 GMT.
U.S. gold futures edged 0.1% lower to $1,296.90 an ounce.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.
© ZAWYA 2019