Chinese equities headed for their longest losing streak this year amid 

  • Crude declines below $45 a barrel; iron ore extends slump
  • Shanghai Composite Index set to give up this year’s gains

Oil slid below $45 a barrel for the first time since November and Chinese equities headed for their longest losing streak this year amid weakness across most Asian stock markets.

The slide in oil saw an intraday jump in the yen, a haven in times of volatility. The Shanghai Composite Index was in line for a fourth weekly decline as regulators try to curb leverage and speculation. The Aussie dollar, the worst-performing G-10 currency this quarter after the Canadian dollar, headed for a weekly loss. Japan and South Korea are closed for a holiday.

Barclays Plc analysts were among those to caution earlier that this week’s drop in commodities may have more to do with particular supply and demand dynamics in individual resource markets than concerns about a probable peaking in Chinese economic growth or last quarter’s soft patch in the U.S.

Australian and New Zealand government bond yields followed those of U.S. Treasuries higher, shrugging off a sell-off in commodities, before the American payrolls report Friday. Treasury yields are poised for a gain in a week when the Federal Reserve played down concerns about slow first-quarter U.S. growth and pledged to continue with gradual rate increases. Ahead of the jobs report, data showed that claims for U.S. unemployment benefits, already at multi-decade lows, fell in the latest week.

Here are key events and data releases due:

  • Economists forecast the U.S. added 190,000 jobs last month as the government reports hiring data at 8:30 a.m. in New York.
  • Due to speak Friday are a host of Fed officials, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her deputy Stanley Fischer.
  • Warren Buffett plans to take more than four dozen questions at his annual investor meeting Saturday, to be live-streamed from Omaha.
  • Earnings releases continue, with Sands China Ltd. due Friday.
  • Voters in France go to the polls Sunday for the second round of presidential elections.

Here are the main moves in markets:


  • The Shanghai Composite Index slid as much as 1.1 percent to below 3,100. A further decline would see the gauge wipe out this year’s gains. The Shenzhen Composite Index fell 0.3 percent, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index tumbled 1.9 percent, the most since Dec. 15.
  • Hong Kong’s main Hang Seng Index dropped 1.2 percent.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.8 percent, falling for a fourth straight day.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.3 percent after the underlying gauge rose 0.1 percent on Thursday.


  • The yen rose 0.3 percent to 112.17 per dollar as of 12:18 p.m. in Singapore after rising 0.3 percent Thursday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 percent after closing down 0.2 percent the previous day. The Australian dollar fell 0.4 percent to 73.77 U.S. cents as it headed for a weekly loss of 1.5 percent.


  • West Texas Intermediate oil gave up an earlier gain to tumble 3.1 percent to $44.11. Futures have collapsed 11 percent this week, slumping to the lowest since Nov. 15, two weeks before the OPEC agreed to output curbs amid a global glut.
  • Iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange were down 4.2 percent after falling 7.3 percent Thursday.


  • The yield on 10-year Australian government bonds rose 2 basis points to 2.66 percent, while the same in New Zealand also rose climbed 3 basis points to 3.03 percent.
  • 10-year U.S. Treasury yields rose almost 4 basis points to 2.36 percent Thursday.

Source: Bloomberg

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