Asian share markets started the week on a cautious footing on Monday after weak economic data from China and Europe added to evidence of cooling global growth and reinforced anxiety over the impact of international trade frictions on business and profits.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed while Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.1 percent in early trade. U.S. stock futures were also almost flat.
On Wall Street on Friday, the S&P 500 lost 1.91 percent to 2,599.95, marking its lowest close since April 2.
In the currency market, the dollar held firm after having touched a 19-month high against a basket of six other major rivals on Friday as the U.S. economy appeared to be in better shape than others.
The euro traded at $1.1307, having fallen to $1.1270 on Friday, its lowest level since Nov. 28.
Sterling hovered near its 20-month low touched last week, as concerns grew that Britain was headed for a chaotic exit from the European Union.
U.S. retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services rose 0.9 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.7 percent increase in October.
Against that backdrop, the U.S. Federal Reserve is seen as almost certain to raise interest rates at its two-day policy meeting starting on Tuesday, further enhancing the dollar’s yield attraction.
Oil prices licked wounds after Friday’s falls on concerns about the global economy.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures changed hands at $51.35 per barrel, up 0.3 percent, after a loss of 2.7 percent last week.
Source : Reuters