World Market And Commodity News
Asian shares hover above two-month lows
TOKYO, Dec 7: Asian shares hovered above two-month lows on Thursday as some high-tech bellwethers bounced back after a searing sell-off although softer oil and copper prices and uncertainty over US policy kept many investors cautious.
Major European stock futures are trading higher, with Germany's DAX futures FDXc1 up 0.4 per cent, while those for Britain's FTSE FFIc1 and France's CAC FECc1 were each up 0.1 per cent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS edged up 0.2 per cent as some technology bellwethers rebounded, with Tencent (0700.HK) rising over 3 per cent and Alibaba (BABA.K) more than 2 per cent.
The MSCI index has slipped 4.5 per cent from a 10-year peak hit on Nov. 23 as investors booked profits after stellar gains this year.
In Japan, the Nikkei .N225 jumped 1.5 per cent, recouping much of its 2.0 per cent loss the previous day, which was its biggest fall since late March.
Investors are looking to final tax reform legislation in the United States, where a potential US government shutdown looms if Congress fails to agree on a spending package.
There are also fears of a violent backlash in the Middle East from President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"I would say markets are going through a healthy correction after their rallies during the past three months, or six months. I don't think we need to panic," said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS stood near Wednesday's two-week low while Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX edged down for its fourth straight session of losses.
A relentless selloff in US technology shares, which has pressured global equities in recent weeks, subsided somewhat with S&P technology shares .SPLRCT bouncing 0.75 per cent.
But the energy sector dragged the US market lower overnight as oil prices dropped.
Oil prices flirted with two-week lows after a big fall on Wednesday, when a sharp rise in US inventories of refined fuel suggested demand may be flagging, while US crude production hit another weekly record.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 traded at $56.14 per barrel, up 0.3 per cent in Asian trade but not far off Wednesday's low of $55.87.
Brent futures LCOc1 gained 0.3 per cent to $61.42 per barrel, after having fallen to $61.13 on Wednesday, its lowest since mid-November.
The price of copper, seen as a barometer of global economic health because of its extensive industrial use, also fell sharply earlier this week, raising worries about the world growth outlook. -Reuters