Asian Markets Fall After Energy Shares Tumble

Asian stocks headed lower on Wednesday as falling oil prices continued to hurt energy-related shares and cut into investors’ confidence.

The price of US crude oil – West Texas Intermediate – fell below $37 a barrel on Tuesday, before recovering to $38.24.

A hit to commodity firms, along with a stronger yen led Japan’s Nikkei 225 index to end down 1% at 19,301.07.
Shares failed to be boosted by better-than-expected factory data.

Machinery order data – a leading indicator of investment in the country – showed orders in October had increased by the most since March last year. Orders rose 10.7% from the previous month, well ahead of forecasts for a fall of more than 1%.

In China, investors shrugged off government data that indicated consumer inflation had picked up slightly in November, because it still remained well below the government’s target of 3%.

The consumer price index rose 1.5% from a year ago, compared with a rate of 1.3% in October.

The Shanghai Composite index reversed earlier losses to close up 0.1% at 3,472.44, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.5% to finish at 21,803.76.

In Australia, Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.5% at 5,080.50.

Korea’s benchmark Kospi index ended the day 0.8% lower at 1,948.24. The index has now fallen for six consecutive sessions, its longest losing streak since mid-August.

via BBC

Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza