Asian Markets Tick Lower, Oil Prices Rise On Qatar Freeze-Out
- Asian stocks slipped, eyeing weaker US employment numbers last week
- Oil prices rose as many Gulf states froze out Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism
- Sterling was steady as a crucial UK election looms this week
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Crude oil prices were in the spotlight Monday, adding about 1% on news that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain had cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar. They accuse it of supporting extremism and undermining regional stability.
Oil prices also got some support from a broadly tighter crude market, with Saudi Arabia increasing July prices for its Arab Light grade oil to all major importer regions.
Asian equty markets were broadly lower, if not by much, with investors casting sidelong glances at the US economy following last Friday's disappointing employment data. The Nikke 225 ended down 0.05%, while Australia's ASX slipped 0.6%.
The US Dollar edged up but remained close to the seven-month low hit against a basket of widely traded rivals in the wake of those weak payroll figures. The UK Pound had slipped following news of yet another terrorist attack in London but it steadied through the Asian session. The crucial election which will produce the government expected to deliver Brexit will take place Thursday.
Gold prices held up, reportedly as investors rethought how many US interest rate rises there are now likely to be.
The rest of the global trading session will offer investors various Purchasing Managers Index releases from Europe and North America. The most important will probably be the US non-manufacturing and composite versions for May, but the UK service PMI will also rate a look. US durable-goods orders are coming up too.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.