Asian stocks drift at open, oil extends decline

Asian stocks drift at open, oil extends decline

 

TOKYO,.  Asian stocks drifted at the open, with energy shares tumbling after oil posted its biggest drop in about a year. The euro rallied after Italy’s president rejected a candidate for finance minister who’s been skeptical of the single currency.

Benchmarks nudged higher in Tokyo and dipped in Australia. South Korean stocks rose, as did US futures, after President Donald Trump appeared to confirm that his June summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un was back on. An energy subindex of the MSCI Asia Pacific Index had the biggest decline after a Saudi minister said petroleum supply would likely rise in the second half. Oil slid further below US$70 (RM278.10) a barrel in New York.

Trading may be subdued round the world by US and U. holidays today.

Investors turn their focus to the economy this week with readings on European inflation, Chinese manufacturing and Friday’s US jobs report, the last before Federal Reserve policy makers meet in June.

Italian assets may be in focus today after that country sank deeper into political uncertainty, with populist leaders failing in their attempt to form a government.

These are some key events to watch this week

US markets are closed today for Memorial Day. UK markets are closed for the spring bank holiday. European Union foreign ministers meet in Brussels today to discuss developments related to North Korea, Yemen, and the Iran nuclear deal.

EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross are scheduled to meet Wednesday in an informal World Trade Organisation ministerial in Paris.

US employment report for May due Friday. On Saturday US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will travel to Beijing for more talks with Vice Premier Liu He on topics including ZTE Corp and trade.

These are the main moves in markets — stocks

Topix index was little changed as of 9.25am in Tokyo. S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 per cent. Kospi index rose 0.5 per cent. Hang Seng Index futures fell 0.2 per cent. Futures on the S&P 500 advanced 0.4 per cent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 per cent. The Japanese yen sank 0.3 per cent to 109.69 per dollar. The euro jumped 0.4 per cent to US$1.1700.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady at 2.93 per cent after falling five basis points Friday.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.8 per cent to US$67.37 a barrel after tumbling 4 per cent on Friday. Gold lost 0.3 per cent to US$1,298.90 an ounce.

— Bloomberg