|16 July, 2019

Tuesday Outlook: Asian equities inch up, oil prices slide

Gold holds steady as investors await US retail sales data later today

Image used for illustrative purpose. Tall metal towers at a British oil refinery and petrochemical plant.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Tall metal towers at a British oil refinery and petrochemical plant.

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  • Markets remain focused on likely US rate cut by end of month   
  • Oil down for second day as U.S. Gulf of Mexico output returns
  • Saudi stock market rose on Sunday while other Gulf bourses fell back 

Oil prices

Oil prices fell on Tuesday as more production facilities returned to operation in the US Gulf after Hurricane Barry swept through over the weekend, while Chinese data that showed the economy slowed to 6.2 percent - the weakest rate in at least 27 years - dimmed the outlook for crude demand.

Brent crude futures were down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $66.38 a barrel by 0028 GMT. They fell 0.4 percent overnight.

US crude fell by 10 cents, or 0.2 percent to $59.48 a barrel. The U.S. benchmark fell about 1 percent in the previous session.

Middle East markets

Saudi stock market rose with banks leading the rally on the back of a positive earnings outlook, while most other Gulf bourses fell back as investors await corporate earnings, Reuters reported.

The Saudi stock exchange main index Tadawul gained 0.3 percent supported by the performance of banks.

The Dubai index was up 0.4 percent due to strong real estate stocks, with Emaar Properties and Dubai Investments rising 1.7 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.

Abu Dhabi index slipped 0.3 percent, driven down by the country's largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank, which fell 0.3 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which dropped 1.2 percent.

Kuwait's index declined 0.8 percent, its second day of loss following a surge in 11 straight sessions after MSCI's decision to move Kuwaiti equities to its main emerging-market index in 2020.

Qatar's index traded flat with Qatar National Bank gaining 0.5 percent.

Egypt's blue-chip index slid 0.3 percent with Commercial International Bank shedding 1.2 percent and Juhayna Food losing 2.7 percent.

Global stocks

Asian equities inched up on Tuesday as traders awaited US retail sales data and corporate earnings, with markets remaining focused on a likely US rate cut by the end of the month.

That followed small gains on Wall Street overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 gaining 0.02 percent and the Nasdaq Composite adding 0.17 percent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.17 percent.

China's blue-chip CSI300 index was 0.4 percent lower.

South Korea's KOSPI was last up 0.24 percent. Shares in Taiwan were flat, while the Australian market was up less than 0.1 percent.

Japan's Nikkei stock index dipped 0.74 percent.

Today’s US data is expected to show that retail sales gained 0.1 percent in June, according to the median estimate of economists polled by Reuters.

However, a decline in net interest margin reported by Citigroup in its mixed quarterly report underlined risks for financial firms in a lower interest rate environment.

Precious metals

Gold prices are holding steady as investors are awaiting US retail sales data today.

Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,413.20 per ounce, as of 0306 GMT.

US gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,414.90 an ounce.

Among other precious metals, silver dipped 0.2 percent to $15.34 per ounce and palladium edged 0.1 percent lower to $1,566.50.

Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $841.48 an ounce, hovering near a two-month high of $846.53 hit in the previous session.

Currencies

The dollar edged higher on Monday due to expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at next week's policy meeting.

While the dollar was flat versus the yen at 107.91. The euro was slightly down at $1.1255, trading within the recent range of $1.14 to $1.11.

(Writing by Seban Scaria seban.scaria@refinitiv.com, editing by Mily Chakrabarty)


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© ZAWYA 2019

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