Asia set to trade lower after oil prices jump 14%

Asia markets were set to trade lower on Tuesday following overnight declines on Wall Street.

Nikkei futures in Chicago, Osaka and Singapore pointed to early declines for the Japanese benchmark index, which last closed at 21,988.29 on Friday. Japanese markets were closed Monday.

In Australia, SPI futures traded at 6,661.0, lower than the S&P/ASX 200’s previous finish at 6,673.50.

Oil remains in focus after prices surged in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate futures gained more than 14%, notching its biggest one-day gain since 2008. International benchmark Brent also jumped more than 14% for the session.

The sharp moves came after a series of drone attacks hit the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, forcing the Kingdom to cut its oil output in half — or about 5% of global oil output. The attack was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels and the Trump administration has blamed Iran.

The Kingdom’s national oil company, Saudi Aramco, reportedly aimed to restore about a third of its crude output, or 2 million barrel by Monday. But media reports suggest it could take weeks before Aramco restores the majority of its output at the affected production site.

Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart

Oil prices came off their session highs after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was authorizing the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep markets « well-supplied. »

Analysts have said that energy prices could climb further if there is a military response from the Saudis, the U.S. or others.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, last traded at 98.61, climbing from levels below 98.00 earlier in the session.

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee is set to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday and markets expect the central bank to cut interest rates by a quarter point. Global growth outlook remains subdued amid the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

Elsewhere, the Japanese yen traded at 108.16 against the dollar, weakening from an earlier level around 108.07. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6864.

Source: CNBC

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