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Worst Not Over in Asia Markets
World Economy

Worst Not Over in Asia Markets

Major Asian markets closed in positive territory on Tuesday, extending Monday’s rally, but experts are not convinced this is the end of the volatility that has rocked stock markets since the beginning of 2016.
Thomas Poullaouec, managing director and head of strategy research for Asia Pacific at State Street Global Advisors, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that despite the relative calm seen in markets on Monday and Tuesday, the prospect of volatility remains.
“We don’t think this is the end,” he said, adding that markets would stabilize once there was stability in oil prices, global financial conditions and the Chinese economy.
“These three conditions are not there yet, so crisis is still the mode,” he said.
Evan Lucas, market strategist at spreadbetter IG, said that “macro overreach” was still a very real problem. But he added, “Fear and pessimism factors versus slowing macro themes are two very different things, which explain the overreach.”
Fear factors hanging over markets include China, oil and negative interest rates, he said.
Chinese markets, on their second day of trading after returning from a week-long Lunar New Year break, led Asian markets as the Shanghai composite closed up 91.21 points, or 3.32%, at 2,837.40. The Shenzhen composite ended 71.69 points, or 4.09%, higher to 1,821.70.
Though China’s trade balance for January, released Monday, was weak, comments from the People’s Bank of China governor sent the yuan to its strongest level against the dollar for the year, with the dollar-yuan pair at 6.49 at yesterday’s market close. The pair traded higher on Tuesday, up 0.21% at 6.51.
Japan’s Nikkei 225, which surged 7% yesterday, erased early morning losses to close up 31.85 points, or 0.2%, at 16,054.43. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi finished 26.10 points, or 1.40%, higher to 1,888.30.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 see-sawed between gains and losses in morning trade before closing up 66.54 points, or 1.37%, at 4,910, with the energy sector gaining 4.45%.

 Oil Rise
Oil prices extended gains during Asian trading hours with the global benchmark Brent up 4.13% at $34.77 a barrel and US crude futures were up by 4.42% at $30.74.
Overnight, Brent tacked on 2.07% gains while US futures were up 1.09% on thin volume trade as it was a public holiday stateside and trading closed early.
The gains were made on the back of news that ministers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela would hold a previously unpublicized meeting in Doha this week, which led to speculations of a possible global output deal.
But skepticism dominates among market watchers, after talk of possible production cuts from both OPEC and non-OPEC players over recent weeks have come to naught.
Some experts, however, believe that the extent of damage done by low oil prices will be difficult to unwind even if prices increase further.

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