Crude oil slid, extending declines from a five-year low amid concern over waning global demand for the commodity. Australian stocks dropped and Japanese index futures slipped while the yen gained after a national election.
West Texas Intermediate oil sank 1.8 percent to $56.79 a barrel by 8:56 a.m. in Tokyo, dropping for a fourth straight day as Brent crude fell 1.3 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 1.3 percent in Sydney. Futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average were bid 1.3 percent below their Dec. 12 close in the Osaka pre-market, while the yen added 0.5 percent after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured victory in yesterdays vote. Standard & Poors 500 Index futures were little changed after a slump Dec. 12 sealed the U.S. gauges first weekly drop since mid October.
Oil prices have tumbled by more than $40 a barrel this year as U.S. shale output contributes to a global glut amid forecasts for a drop in demand. WTI extending losses below $58 ignited a selloff in U.S. equities Dec. 12, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average erasing 100 points in the last hour of trading. In Japan, Abes ruling bloc won more than two-thirds of the seats in the lower house, while the Tankan surveys of corporate sentiment were mixed for the fourth quarter.
Source : Bloomberg