What you need to know:
>Lower oil prices knock energy stocks
>Asia-Pacific stocks broadly lower
>Oil prices steady in Asia trading
Equities in the Asia-Pacific region were broadly lower on Tuesday, dragged down by energy stocks as oil prices dropped to a three-month low on increased output.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.5 per cent with energy stocks slumping 2.4 per cent following a fall in oil prices on Monday. Brent crude closed 4.6 per cent lower on Monday at a three-month low on easing supply outages in Libya, and output increases from global producers.
Oil prices steadied during morning Asia trading. The international benchmark was 0.4 per cent higher at $72.17 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate nudged higher to $68.09 a barrel following a 4.2 per cent fall in the previous session.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 1 per cent as financials fell 1 per cent and technology stocks shed 1.4 per cent. The energy sector was down 1.8 per cent as Cnooc and PetroChina fell 2.6 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively. In mainland China, the CSI 300 of Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks dipped 1.1 per cent.
In Japan, the Topix index was 1.2 per cent higher after returning from a three-day weekend with gains across all sectors barring the energy segment, which slipped 0.9 per cent.
South Korea’s Kospi index pulled back from an earlier loss to be 0.1 per cent higher. Asiana Airlines jumped as much as 23 per cent following a media report that conglomerate SK Group was considering a takeover. (SK denied the report).
The falls in Asia came after the S&P 500 ended 0.1 per cent lower as the dip by energy stocks was offset by strength in the financial sector on solid quarterly earnings. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3 per cent from the record closing high on Friday.
In currencies, the dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of peers, was 0.1 per cent lower at 94.452 ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell’s semi-annual testimony to the House financial services committee later in the US session. Investors will examine his outlook for the domestic economy and inflation for pointers on the pace of tightening this year.
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury was 1 basis point higher at 2.869 per cent.
Elsewhere, the yen was steady at ¥112.33. The euro was 0.1 per cent stronger $1.1716 and the pound edged higher against its US counterpart to $1.3247.
The Australian dollar recovered from earlier weakness to be 0.2 per cent stronger at $0.7433. The currency had dipped earlier in the session after the country’s central bank said in its July meeting minutes that downside risks to global growth had increased in June and an “escalation of trade tensions” was also a worry.
Separately, the International Monetary Fund warned on Monday that trade tensions were the “greatest near-term threat to global growth”.
Gold was 0.1 per cent stronger at $1,241.81 an ounce.