Sliding oil prices drag down Asia stocks
20 January 2016, Nirapad News: Asian markets fell again as oil prices slid through $28 a barrel and Wall Street put in a weak performance.
Japan’s Nikkei was down 3 per cent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.1 per cent, surrendering early gains, reports the Financial Times.
At the lunch break, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was leading the region lower, with the index of China-based, Hong Kong-listed stocks down 4.9 per cent at a six-year low.
Oil plays were big decliners, with Sinopec, PetroChina and China Oilfield Services each down more than 6 per cent in Hong Kong.
The broader Hang Seng Index followed suit, shedding 3.8 per cent. Declines on the mainland were more limited, with the Shanghai Composite off 1.4 per cent and the tech-focused Shenzhen Composite dropping 1.2 per cent.
West Texas Intermediate, the US oil benchmark, traded as low as $27.67 a barrel in Asia on Wednesday morning — falling below $28 for the first time since September 2003 — after the International Energy Agency’s warning overnight that the oil market “could drown in oversupply”.
The lifting of sanctions against Iran will see a rise in output that could offset production cuts elsewhere, the IEA said.
Brent, the international benchmark, was down 1.9 per cent at $28.21, after dropping on Monday below $28 for the first time in more than 12 years.