Wednesday outlook: Asian shares retreat

Wednesday outlook: Asian shares retreat

Asian shares edged down early on Wednesday on profit-taking, having hit record peaks on Tuesday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 percent on Wednesday, after surging 1.2 percent at the close of the previous trading session. In the Middle East, stock markets were mixed on Tuesday.

Dubai’s index fell 0.7 percent with Emaar losing 5.8 percent as the stock went ex-dividend.Neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.3 percent.

The Saudi index edged up 0.2 percent. Al Rajhi Bank was up 0.6 percent and Mobily rose 1.1 percent.

Aamal Holding surged 4.8 percent, boosting the Qatari index to close 0.5 percent higher.

Kuwait’s index edged up 0.1 percent, but National Bank of Kuwait fell 0.9 percent. In commodities, oil prices edged down on Wednesday compared to their close on Tuesday, as released data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) late on Tuesday showed an increase in crude oil and gasoline stocks.

Spot Brent crude oil futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $ 69.78 and $ 64.41 a barrel respectively at 0223 GMT. In currencies, the dollar remained under fire on Wednesday slipping to as low as 110.06 yen before pulling back to a loss of 0.1 percent at 110.16 yen. Gold prices edged up to $ 1,341.26 an ounce early on Wednesday, as the dollar declined. In other news, Egypt’s petroleum ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that state gas board EGAS, will hold an international bid round for exploration concessions during the second half of the 2017-18 fiscal year that ends in June.

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