Overseas Trading: Crude Sinks Global Stocks

Dropping crude futures have weighed on global markets

Feb 2, 2016 at 8:54 AM
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Asian markets finished mostly lower today, amid weakness in crude futures. In Japan, the Nikkei settled 0.6% lower, as the yen gained ground against the dollar. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8%, while South Korea's Kospi shed 1%. China, however, shook off today's regional slump, with the Shanghai Composite climbing 2.3% by the close. The country's central bank injected another massive dose of cash into the market to increase liquidity ahead of next week's Lunar New Year holiday.

At midday, European stocks are trading lower, with oil woes continuing to be the leading factor. A disappointing batch of earnings is also weighing on investor sentiment, with oil giant BP down sharply after reporting its largest annual loss in 20 years, and Swiss bank UBS tumbling after warning that low interest rates and currency woes would likely translate into headwinds. Not even a four-year low in eurozone unemployment can lift traders' spirits, and, at last check, London's FTSE 100 is 1.7% lower, Germany's DAX is off 1.1% -- despite unemployment falling to a record low -- and France's CAC 40 has shed 1.8%. 

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