Major Asian indices except China’s Shanghai remained under pressure throughout the day, mirroring Wall Street sentiment. Softer factory activity across the globe kept investors anxious.
Asian markets in trouble
Oil prices resumed their downward journey as mounting oversupply and the fading probability of a meeting between oil producing countries disappointed investor hopes. Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries fell by 1% or 50.30 to 5,044. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down by 0.76% to 19,446.84 while Nikkei 225 shed 0.64% to 17,750.68. Taiwan’s TSEC 50 Index too fell by 0.32% to 8,131.24.
In India, the Reserve Bank of India kept key interest rates unchanged but hinted at embracing a more accommodative stance. Mumbai’s Sensex was seen trading down by 0.50% to 24,700.09.
Data weighing over markets
Meanwhile, European markets lost momentum amid global uncertainties and weakness in oil prices. FTSE 100 lost 1.58% or 95.96 points to 5,964.14 while Euronext shed 1.39% to 858.33. CAC 40 and DAX too were down by 1.65% and 1.43% respectively. Switzerland’s Swiss Market Index inched down by 1.50% to 8,185.92. The building sector in Britain has slowed down to a nine-month low.
Construction PMI in Europe dipped to 55 in January from 57.8 in December, hitting the lowest level in nine months. US manufacturing data published yesterday also failed to relieve investors. The main piece of good new was in Germany where unemployment hit a low of 6.2%.
The U.S. markets ended down yesterday despite a mid day recovery after economic data consistently came in below expectations. Also, subpar results announced by BP plc (NYSE:BP) reinforced the fact that the oil sector is in bad shape. CEO Bob Dudley’s statement that oil prices are likely to remain volatile throughout the year has spiked concerns as well.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the previous session 0.10% or 17.12 points lower at 16,449.18. S&P 500 Index too lost o.o4% or 0.86 points to 1,939.38. Futures are broadly down in the premarket session. Canada’s S&P erased 1.23% to close the day at 745.53.