Asian markets limped into the weekend, with energy firms still struggling after a bruising few days, while investors eye Donald Trump’s revised healthcare bill hoping its success will open the way for his economic agenda.
Crude enjoyed a rare positive day on Thursday after hefty selling that sent it to a 10-month low, but the gains were small change as concerns over a global supply glut and US production overshadow output cuts by OPEC and Russia.
The sharp losses — oil is down around 25 percent from its recent highs seen in January — has bloodied energy firms and, despite another pick-up in the commodity, they continue to struggle.
In Hong Kong, CNOOC and PetroChina were in retreat, while Sydney-listed Woodside Petroleum and Inpex in Tokyo were also down.
“Falling oil prices continue to temper sentiment in global macro markets and while the Nervous Nellies take solace as oil prices base overnight, don’t get too comfortable as the oil patch narrative will likely be the primary catalyst in the coming months,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA.
Tokyo’s Nikkei ended the morning marginally lower, while Shanghai and Sydney each lost 0.1 percent, Singapore fell 0.3 percent and Wellington was off 0.2 percent. Seoul was barely changed.
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