Overseas Trading: Nikkei Stumbles to New Low; Oil Lifts Europe

A rebound in crude oil has European stocks sharply higher at midday

Alex Eppstein
Feb 12, 2016 at 8:32 AM
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Stocks in Asia sold off sharply, hit by Wall Street's overnight woes, and ongoing sector-wide weakness among financial names due to concerns that low (and even negative) interest rates will hurt profits. Leading the way south was Japan's Nikkei, which slid 4.8% to its lowest close since October 2014 on a stronger yen. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.2% and South Korea's Kospi surrendered 1.4%. Chinese markets remained shuttered for the Lunar New Year, but will re-open for trade next week.

On the flip side, European bourses are going gangbusters, as crude oil turned sharply higher after an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) official hinted at a possible production cut. Also, in contrast to the situation in Asia, eurozone banks broke out, paced by huge earnings-induced gains at Frankfurt's Commerzbank. At last check, the German DAX is up 1.5%, London's FTSE 100 has advanced 1.8%, and the French CAC 40 has tacked on 1.4%.


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