Asia Lower Ahead of December FOMC

Investors in Asia remained cautious with oil prices under pressure, and with the US Federal Reserve about to start its latest meeting.

The US central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006.

Oil prices started to slide again after staging a mini-recovery late on Monday.

Brent crude had fallen to $36.33 a barrel on Monday before rebounding and heading back towards $38, but then it slipped back to $37.61.

In Japan the Nikkei 225 closed down 317.52 points, or 1.7%, at 18,565.90 after falling as much as 3% on Monday.

Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended the day down 0.4% at 4,909.6 – the lowest the index has been since mid-2013.

The benchmark was pulled down by some of the country’s big banks, with Commonwealth Bank shares sinking 0.7% while ANZ finished the day down 1.3%.
Continued worries over a global oversupply of oil also hit the market.

“The [oil] supply side is catching most of the market’s attention,” said Evan Lucas from IG Markets.

“Iran added to the Saudi commentary overnight in looking to further increase its production.”

In South Korea, the Kospi index closed up 0.27% at 1,932.97.

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