Overseas Trading: Japan Slides; ECB, OPEC in Focus

The European Central Bank (ECB) left interest rates unchanged, as traders await news from OPEC's meeting in Vienna

by Josh Selway

Published on Jun 2, 2016 at 8:36 AM

Asian stock markets finished Thursday mostly higher, though Japan's Nikkei suffered a sharp sell-off. The Nikkei closed 2.3% lower, after Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formally delayed a sales-tax increase until 2019. As a result, the yen strengthened -- exacerbated by an attack on negative interest rates from Takehiro Sato, a Bank of Japan (BoJ) board member -- pressuring stocks even lower. 

Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite managed a 0.4% advance, as traders continue to consider the possibility of index operator MSCI adding Chinese stocks to its indexes. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng settled 0.5% higher, while South Korea's Kospi picked up 0.1%. 

Stocks are mixed in Europe, with traders eyeing today's European Central Bank (ECB) policy decision and the upcoming Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting. More specifically, the ECB left interest rates unchanged, as expected, with President Mario Draghi preparing for a post-meeting press conference. Meanwhile, oil prices are modestly higher ahead of OPEC's meeting in Vienna, though the group of crude producers isn't expected to announce an output ceiling. London's FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at last check, Germany's DAX has added 0.1%, and France's CAC 40 is hovering near breakeven. 


Overseas Markets June 2

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