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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

  • Asian stocks mostly declined on Tuesday, with only Japan carving out slight gains.
  • Oil prices edged higher after tumbling more than 4 percent overnight.
  • U.S. stocks closed mixed in the last session, with corporate earnings in focus.

Asian stocks came under moderate pressure on Tuesday — with Japan the lone market in positive territory — as oil prices edged slightly higher after an overnight tumble.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.82 percent amid broad-based losses. The Shanghai composite pulled back by 0.65 percent and the Shenzhen composite slipped 0.44 percent. The Kospi slipped 0.22 percent in as South Korean stocks came under slight pressure. The S&P/ASX 200 eased 0.37 percent.

The lone bright spot among major markets in the region was the Nikkei 225, which edged higher by 0.44 percent as Japanese markets reopened for trade after a holiday.

Oil nursed its wounds after slumping overnight, with prices having extended losses after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the U.S. will consider waivers on Iran sanctions for some crude importers. The overnight declines in price also came as Libyan ports reopened, although Reuters reported that output at the Sharara oilfield was still expected to fall.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were higher by 0.15 percent at $68.16 per barrel after settling more than 4 percent lower on Monday. Brent crude futures tacked on 0.75 percent to $73.28 after touching its lowest level since mid-April overnight.

The International Monetary Fund on Monday warned that there was an increased risk of “worse outcomes” amid recent international trade tensions, although it kept its forecasts for global growth this year the same at 3.9 percent.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was mostly steady at 94.578. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the Yuan reference rate at 6.6821 vs the previous day’s fix of 6.6758.

Source : Reuters

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