Overseas Trading: Crude Takes Another Swipe

The global sell-off continues on weakness in crude futures

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Feb 3, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Asian stocks finished lower, following a sharp sell-off on Wall Street and amid continued weakness in crude futures. Japan's Nikkei fell 3.2% as a strengthening yen weighed on exporters, and a fresh round of earnings disappointed investors. China's Shanghai Composite pared heavier losses after the Caixin purchasing managers index (PMI) showed activity in the services sector grew at its fastest pace in six months, but finished the day with a 0.4% loss. Traders also digested news that the country set its first economic growth target in two decades -- at 6.5% to 7% -- and that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) could be on the cusp of loosening capital controls. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 2.3%, while South Korea's Kospi settled 0.8% lower despite the government unveiling a fresh round of stimulus measures.

European exchanges are in negative territory at midday, with falling oil prices continuing to be the main driver. Speculators are also digesting a disappointing reading on Markit's composite PMI for the eurozone, which fell to a four-month low in January.  On the corporate front, Swiss agricultural company Syngenta has agreed to a record-setting $43 billion buyout bid from ChemChina.  At last check, London's FTSE 100 is has lost 0.6%, the German DAX is off 1.1%, and France's CAC 40 is down 0.5%.



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