Asian Equities Ease as Oil Slides Before OPEC

Asian shares gave back some of their China-inspired gains on Tuesday, while oil prices slumped ahead of this week’s OPEC meeting.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was off 0.3 percent after rallying in the previous session following China’s surprise interest rate cut.

Japan’s Nikkei stock average added 0.6 percent. Markets in Japan were closed on Monday for a national holiday, and were playing catch-up to late Friday’s news of an unexpected reduction to interest rates from the People’s Bank of China. Sources also told Reuters that Beijing was ready to take further easing steps.  On Wall Street on Monday, both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 marked fresh record closing highs.

Oil prices continued to slide ahead of a much-anticipated meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries later this week.  “The reduced leverage that OPEC now has over the oil market is likely to make it more cautious about cutting production,” strategists at Barclays said in a note.


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