Energy shares lead Asian markets lower on big US oil buildup

In this Jan. 12, 2017, photo, traders work on the Mizuho Americas trading floor in New York. Global stock markets traded on a soft note Wednesday, March 8, 2017, after Wall Street fell for a second day following U.S. President Donald Trump's comments about reducing drug prices. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Asian stock markets are mostly lower after news of a big buildup in U.S. oil stockpiles depressed crude prices and shares of energy companies

HONG KONG — Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday after news of a big buildup in U.S. oil stockpiles depressed crude prices and shares of energy companies.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.2 percent to 19,283.65 but South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.1 percent to 2,093.72. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1 percent to 23,528.77 and the Shanghai Composite index in mainland China slid 0.9 percent to 3,213.16. Australia's S&P ASX 200 shed 0.4 percent to 5,735.40.

EXCESS ENERGY: Oil reserves grew by 8 million barrels last week, far more than analysts expected, according to the report by the Energy Information Administration. The news triggered a sell-off in energy-related shares and oil futures, with benchmark U.S. crude skidding $2.86, or 5.4 percent, to close at $50.28 a barrel, its biggest drop in more than a year. Prices had stabilized by Thursday morning in Asia, with crude oil adding 35 cents to $50.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell rose 46 cents to $53.57 a barrel in London.

ANALYST INSIGHT: "It's pretty bad. A 5 percent drop in the oil price is very significant. It even has an impact on the stock market as well," said Margaret Yang, an analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore. "The overall performance of U.S. indices was dragged down by the energy sector and the same thing is happening" in Asia, she said. Shares of Japan Petroleum Exploration slid 1.5 percent while PetroChina slumped 2.2 percent and Sinopec, China's largest refiner, tumbled 3.3 percent.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks fell for the third day in a row. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dipped 0.2 percent to 2,362.98. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.3 percent to 20,855.73. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.1 percent to 5,836.55 as health care and technology companies moved higher.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 114.45 yen from 114.33 yen. The euro was steady at $1.0539.

You may also like these

China launches second space station, Tiangong 2

Sep 15, 2016

China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its...

A look at how Trump might shake things up in Asia

Jan 16, 2017

Donald Trump has offered views on U.S. relations with Asia that could indicate radical shifts in...

'One China principle' not negotiable, China tells...

Jan 16, 2017

Responding to remarks by Donald Trump, China's Foreign Ministry says the country's "one-China...

IMF raises China growth forecast but warns on debt

Jan 16, 2017

The International Monetary Fund has raised its growth forecast for China but warned that rising...

Malaysia Air on rebound as missing flight search...

Jan 17, 2017

Nearly three years after twin disasters took it to the brink of financial collapse, Malaysia...

Sign up now!

The Financial Capital is your independent source for finance information and advice. We provide insights and offer advice from financial experts so you can make the best decisions.

Contact us: sales[at]thefinancialcapital.com