European Shares Drop as Oil Slide Continues
TOKYO – European shares lost early gains to close lower on Monday, despite a rebound in the wobbly Shanghai Composite index, as the price of oil extended its recent losses.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX, which had opened 1.2 percent higher, declined over the course of the day to end 0.3 percent lower at 9,521.85. The CAC 40 of France fell 0.5 percent to 4,189.57 and Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.4 percent to 5,8779.92. U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday. But Dow and S&P futures shed 0.1 percent.
IRAN, ENERGY: The nuclear deal between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers took effect over the weekend, ending a European oil embargo on the world’s seventh-largest oil producer. That is reinforcing expectations that prices will remain weak as supply overwhelms demand. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 1.6 percent to $28.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell to $29.42 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 1.1 percent to $28.62 per barrel. It fell to $28.94 in London on Friday.
CHINA ECONOMY: On Tuesday, attention will turn to China, where fourth-quarter growth figures will likely show that strong consumer spending offset slowing investment, keeping growth in the last quarter at about 6.8 percent or higher, analysts say. But recent volatility in Chinese markets has overshadowed those trends toward stabilization in China’s growth picture.
THE QUOTE: “Nerves are still heavily focused on China as we approach a major economic data dump from China,” Angus Nicholson of IG said in a commentary.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 percent to 16,955.57 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.5 percent to 19,237.45. The Shanghai Composite rebounded from early losses, gaining 0.4 percent to 2,913.84 and South Korea’s Kospi was nearly unchanged at 1,878.45. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.7 percent to 4,858.70. Shares in Taiwan were higher but markets in New Zealand and Southeast Asia declined.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 117.37 yen from 117.00 yen. The euro fell to $1.0894 from $1.0913.