Asian shares mostly lower; oil and currencies
Asian shares camped out at 18-month peaks on Wednesday having climbed for five straight sessions, while the British pound was licking fresh wounds as revived Brexit fears came back to haunt it.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) was dead flat near its highest since June last year. Japan’s Nikkei (N225) dipped 0.4% and off a 2019 top.
- Shanghai blue chips (CSI300) were steady, after hitting an eight-month peak on Tuesday and as Beijing trimmed another short-term interest rate.
- E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 (ESc1) barely budged, as did futures for the EUROSTOXX 50 (STXEc1) and the FTSE
- Sterling’s slide gave the dollar index a lift to 97.243 against a basket of currencies, extending a bounce from last week’s five-month low of 96.588.
- The euro also surged on the pound (EURGBP=) and was a shade softer on the dollar at $1.1134 (EUR=). The yen was little changed at 109.45 per dollar .
- Spot gold idled at $1,476.63 per ounce , after a couple of very quiet sessions.
- Oil prices eased from three-month highs as data showed U.S. crude stocks rose unexpectedly in the most recent week. [O/R]
- U.S. crude (CLc1) fell 42 cents to $60.52 a barrel, while Brent crude (LCOc1) futures lost 31 cents to $65.78.