Asia stocks dip

TOKYO, Rabi’I 17, 1437, December 28, 2015, SPA — Asian stocks dipped on Monday amid a lack of immediate directional cues in light year-end trade, although Japanese shares managed to rise following a rebound in crude oil prices from multiple-year lows, according to Reuters.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gave up earlier modest gains and were last down 0.2 percent. The index was on track for an 11 percent loss this year.

Shanghai shares scraped out a 0.1 percent gain on Monday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.4 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI fell 1 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.2 percent, with soft domestic production and retail data offset by a rebound in crude oil prices.

The Nikkei, lifted in part by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflationary policies, was headed for its fourth straight year of gains.

U.S. crude gained last week thanks to falling inventories, reduced drilling and the lifting of a ban on most U.S. crude exports. U.S. crude nudged down 0.6 percent to $37.87 a barrel after jumping nearly 9 percent last week and away from $33.98, its lowest level since February 2009.

Brent crude also rose nearly 3 percent last week, moving away from an 11-year trough. It last fetched $37.74 a barrel, down 0.4 percent on the day.

In currencies, the dollar fetched 120.38 yen, wobbling near a two-month low of 120.05 struck on Friday. The dollar has lost some steam, with investors locking in profits after the Federal Reserve this month hiked interest rates for the first time in nine years.

The euro was flat at $1.0973, having spent the past two sessions in a tight $1.0944-$1.1000 range.

The Australian dollar was down 0.2 percent at $0.7274 but still within distance of a two-week peak of $0.7295 scaled on Friday. Relatively high Australian yields have recently worked in favour of the currency.
12:14 LOCAL TIME 09:14 GMT