By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets fell in early trading Tuesday, a day after oil prices spiked and global markets slipped following a weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
President Donald Trump on Monday said it “looks” like Iran was behind the attack, but suggested no military response was imminent. The Saudi government called the attack an “unprecedented act of aggression and sabotage” but stopped short of directly pinning blame on Iran. Tehran denied responsibility for the strike, which knocked out about half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. Oil prices jumped more than 14% on Monday, but crude futures were far more subdued Tuesday.
“The calming overtones from Saudi officials suggesting the situation is manageable, after telling other OPEC members not to respond with extra output, have temporarily taken the edge of the disruption,” said Stephen Innes, Asia-Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, in a note.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +2.50% , which was closed for a holiday Monday, slipped 0.1%, as Trump told Congress that the U.S. and Japan are ready to sign a limited trade deal. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.39% fell 0.9% and the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.34% slid about 0.9% while the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.34% dropped 1.2%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.58% edged up 0.2%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.51% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +1.50% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +0.85% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.26% was about flat.
Among individual stocks, oil producer Inpex /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 +2.26% surged in Tokyo trading, as did e-commerce company Rakuten /zigman2/quotes/201861450/delayed JP:4755 +2.75% , while SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +1.27% fell. In Hong Kong, Geely Automobile /zigman2/quotes/200716015/delayed HK:175 +2.35% and Hang Lung Properties /zigman2/quotes/200230831/delayed HK:101 -0.48% declined. LG Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 -0.67% slipped in South Korea and Foxconn /zigman2/quotes/204111604/delayed TW:2354 -1.53% fell in Taiwan. BHP /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +3.37% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +2.22% dropped in Australia, while Woodside Petroleum /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL +2.96% gained.