Stock & Shares

Asian stocks come down

Asian stocks

Asian shares slipped on Tuesday, as a downturn in crude oil curbed the enthusiasm from fresh record highs on Wall Street.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.6 per cent, moving away from a nine-month high touched last week which put it into technically overbought territory.

China’s Yuan steadied against the dollar, a day after slipping below the psychologically important 6.7 level for the first time in more than five years. Still, traders expect downward pressure on the currency to persist.

China stocks were lower, with both the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen and the Shanghai Composite Index down 0.4 per cent.

Ayako Sera, market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Tokyo, said, “It’s hard to maintain consistent optimism when markets attain such high levels, and some profit-taking is natural”. Sera noted that weaker oil prices were taking their toll on related sectors.

Pressure remained on crude oil prices after they settled down more than 1 per cent on Monday after rising stockpiles of crude and refined fuel intensified fears of another major supply glut.

Brent crude was 0.3 per cent lower at $46.82 (£35.51) a barrel, after shedding 1.4 per cent on Monday. US crude was down 0.4 per cent at $45.07 (£34.18), after dropping 1.6 per cent overnight.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index pared early gains, but was still up 0.5 per cent, as markets reopened after a public holiday on Monday and responded to a weaker yen.

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The author Paul