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Asian Shares Mixed Amid Oil Surge

asian mixed 16sep19 lt

Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday as oil prices surged and investors remained focused on the upcoming Fed meeting for directional cues. Weak Chinese data also kept investors nervous. Markets in Japan and Malaysia were closed for public holidays.

Oil prices soared, with Brent crude posting its biggest intraday percentage gain since the Gulf War in 1991 following multiple drone attacks over the weekend on Saudi Arabia's crude oil production facilities.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. is "locked and loaded depending on verification" for a potential response to the attacks, while Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Chinese shares ended largely unchanged as trading resumed following a three-day holiday weekend. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finished marginally lower at 3,030.75, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.8 percent to close at 27,124.55 after the release of weak data from China.

Chinese industrial output growth unexpectedly weakened to 4.4 percent in August from the same period a year earlier, the slowest pace since February 2002 and down from 4.8 percent in July. Retail sales and investment figures also disappointed amid rising trade pressure and softening domestic demand.

Australian markets ended roughly flat despite sharp gains in the energy sector on the back of a surge in global oil prices. The S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 4.30 points or 0.1 percent to 6,673.50, while the broader All Ordinaries Index crept up 4.90 points or 0.1 percent to 6,782.00.

Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac fell between half a percent and 0.9 percent on concerns over slowing global growth. Higher iron ore and nickel prices boosted miners, with BHP shares jumping 3.2 percent.

Gold miners Evolution and Newcrest soared 3-4 percent as gold prices surged over 1 percent in futures trading. Northern Star Resources spiked almost 6 percent ahead of its presentation tomorrow to the Denver Gold Forum in the U.S.

Beach Energy, Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Origin Energy and Oil Search jumped 3-6 percent as global oil prices skyrocketed.

Bellamy's Australia surged 55 percent after the infant formula maker entered into a A$1.5 billion takeover agreement with China Mengniu Dairy Company and urged its shareholders to approve the deal.

On the other hand, Sims Metals Management slumped 13.3 percent. The metals and electronics recycler has warned that its results for the first half of the year will be "materially lower" than a year earlier due to the U.S.-China trade war and falling demand for cars.

Seoul stocks advanced as investor anxiety about the U.S.-Chinese trade war eased and investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve policy meeting. The benchmark Kospi rose 13.02 points or 0.6 percent to 2,062.22.

New Zealand shares gave up early gains to close lower after the latest survey from BusinessNZ revealed the services sector in New Zealand expanded at a slightly slower rate in August with a Performance of Services Index score of 54.6, down from 54.8 in July. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 31.66 points or 0.3 percent to 10,831.75.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday and the dollar slipped as Treasury yields jumped to six-week highs on the back of easing trade tensions and upbeat economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.1 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 edged down marginally.

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