- Topix snaps five-week retreat as industrial production misses
- Hong Kong shares fall as Asia's worst performers continue drop
The Topix rose after its fifth weekly drop in a row, while Hong Kong shares were lower. S&P 500 futures fluctuated after a surge in materials and energy shares boosted the gauge 2.8 percent in the holiday-shortened week. West Texas Intermediate futures were weaker after jumping 9.7 percent last week amid declining U.S. crude inventories and as drillers idled rigs. Markets in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. remain closed today. Natural gas jumped.
Last week’s rebound in oil helped relieve some of the pressure on a sector where concerns about slumping earnings have helped drag global equity indexes lower and roiled markets for non-investment grade debt. The S&P 500 last week recouped most of its losses since the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade Dec. 16. Japan’s retail sales and industrial production weakened more than estimated in November, data today showed after a report Friday indicated inflation ticked up slightly last month.
“For 2016, the outlook should become less hazy and investors should enjoy greater clarity with regards to the pace of Fed rate hikes,” Vasu Menon, vice president of wealth management at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore, said by email. “Equity markets are likely to remain volatile, at least into the first half of 2016.”
StocksThe Topix advanced 0.5 percent by 11:24 a.m. in Tokyo, with six of 33 industries retreating. South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.7 percent, dragged lower by affiliates of Samsung Group after the nation’s antitrust regulator ordered the conglomerate to cut cross-shareholdings by March or face possible penalties.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed. The measure is heading for a second straight annual loss, the first time since 2002 that it’s fallen for consecutive years.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.4 percent. A gauge of Chinese companies listed in the city retreated 0.7 percent to take its annual loss beyond 17 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index is the worst-performing major Asian gauge of 2015. The Shanghai Composite Index was little changed.
S&P 500 futures swung between gains and losses after the measure jumped 55.44 points to 2,060.99 in the week, the biggest gain since November. The gauge ended the prior week with a 3.3 percent rout in the two days following the Fed’s decision. Most European markets reopen Monday.
CommoditiesOil in New York slipped 0.6 percent Monday. WTI for February delivery traded at $37.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after its highest settlement since Dec. 4. Futures touched $33.98 on Dec. 21, the lowest since February 2009.
The global glut that’s sent WTI toward its second yearly decline may deepen after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries effectively abandoned output limits earlier this month.
Iran’s priority is to boost oil shipments to pre-sanction levels, state-backed IRNA reported, citing Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. The country plans to add 500,000 barrels a day of exports one week after sanctions are lifted, said Rokneddin Javadi, deputy oil minister and head of National Iranian Oil Co., according to Shana news agency.
U.S. natural gas futures advanced 3.7 percent, heading for a third straight increase. The contract has gained more than 11 percent in three days amid forecasts for an end to unseasonably warm conditions that had curbed demand for heating fuel.