Friday, 29 October, 2021

Asian shares held back by cautious mood

TOKYO: Asian shares got off to a subdued start on Tuesday as investors braced for key events later in the week, including the kick-off of the U.S. earnings season and a crucial Brexit summit, while broader concerns over slowing global growth checked sentiment.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was basically flat after brushing its highest since late August last year during the previous session, report agencies.

Australian shares dipped 0.25 percent while Japan's Nikkei was down 0.15 percent.

Wall Street shares delivered a mixed performance on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 0.3 percent while the S&P 500 added 0.1 percent. Concerns over slowing U.S. earnings have undermined U.S. equities in recent sessions, though a strong jobs report last week helped to soothe frayed nerves.

The S&P 500, however, moved on its own momentum for its eight straight session of gains and the longest winning streak since October 2017, as rallying crude prices lifted energy shares.

Oil prices rose to their highest since November, driven by fighting in Libya along with ongoing supply cuts pledged by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

Broader market sentiment remained subdued as investors' focus was on potential flashpoints, including a crucial Brexit summit as well as a meeting on trade between the European Union and China set for later on Tuesday.

"The market is very much in a wait-and-watch mode," said Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia in Sydney.

"It's looking for the next catalyst that's hopefully going to take stock markets higher, but it's also very wary that we've had such a great run in stocks and general growth that we might see a real sharp correction," he said.

Twidale added that any news on the trade front around the Sino-U.S. tariff negotiations and the upcoming summit between the EU and China "could really start to add to some volatility" to markets.