Singapore: Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday amid signs of a slowdown in the US economic recovery that pushed global stocks and oil prices lower a day earlier.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average was down 0.42%, while the broader Topix was off 0.47%.
MSCI’s index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.09%, extending a two-week decline, but some markets, including Singapore, were closed for a holiday.
The euro inched higher, pulling away from a 7-week low hit the previous day. It remains vulnerable due to concerns about the debt of peripheral euro zone countries, although it gained some reprieve on Monday after euro zone finance ministers approved an emergency loan programme for Portugal.
The dollar edged up 0.1% against the yen to ¥80.90, having regained some ground after having dropped to ¥79.57 in early May, the dollar’s lowest level against the yen since mid-March.
US crude futures extended declines on Tuesday amid the global economic concerns and as U.S. industry data was expected to show a fourth-straight rise in the top consumer’s crude oil inventories.
Crude was dragged lower as US wholesale gasoline prices fell below $3 a gallon for the first time since March. NYMEX crude for June delivery was down 38 cents at $96.99 a barrel. London Brent crude for June delivery expired on Monday, settling down $1.10 at $112.73.
Gold held steady and silver rebounded from a 5% drop the previous session, as some Asian physical buying offset the influence of a slightly stronger dollar.
Spot gold edged up 0.1% to $1,490.75 an ounce. US gold futures were little changed at $1,491.
Signs of a slowdown in the US economic recovery pulled U.S. stocks and oil prices lower on Monday.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.38% on Monday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.62% and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.63%.