SEOUL, South Korea – Global stock markets were mostly weaker Tuesday as the price of crude oil turned lower on supply concerns.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain’s FTSE 200 fell 0.3 per cent to 6,018.28. Germany’s DAX was down 0.5 per cent at 9,525.30, while France’s CAC 40 was nearly flat at 4,298.94. Futures augured a tepid start for Wall Street. Dow futures lost 0.2 per cent while S&P futures fell 0.3 per cent.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.4 per cent lower at 16,052.05 while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1 per cent to 1,914.22. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.3 per cent to 19,414.78 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China dropped 0.8 per cent to 2,903.33. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.4 per cent at 4,979.60. Stocks in Singapore and the Philippines were higher, but stocks in Indonesia were lower.
ENERGY FORECAST: The International Energy Agency said on Monday it does not expect oil prices to recover significantly until 2017, but sees slower growth in global supplies. Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said oil would rise gradually to about $80 a barrel. The comments by the group of major oil-importing countries triggered a surge in crude oil prices and rallies in global stock markets overnight but they could not be sustained.
ANALYST’S TAKE: Despite the forecast that the glut of crude will be gradually reduced, “we remain cautious at this juncture, since so far, Iran and Iraq remained non-committal in terms of production cuts though both countries welcomed the initiative,” Mizuho Bank said in a daily commentary.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 65 cents or 2 per cent to $32.73 per barrel in New York. On Monday, the contract jumped $1.56 to close at $33.39 a barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 58 cents to $34.11 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.07 yen from 112.89 yen while the euro weakened to $1.099 from $1.103.