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US, Europe close lower; Asia mixed, Brent around $ 112/bbl

Hang Seng rallied 1.9 percent while Nikkei and Straits Times were up 0.6 percent. However, Shanghai, Kospi and Taiwan Weighted fell marginally.

September 02, 2013 / 11:30 AM IST

Asian markets were mixed in morning trade Monday while US markets closed lower with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closing out their worst month in over a year on Friday. European shares also ended about 1 percent lower across the board.


Asia


Hang Seng rallied 1.9 percent while Nikkei and Straits Times were up 0.6 percent. However, Shanghai, Kospi and Taiwan Weighted fell marginally.


US


Markets closed lower on the final trading day of august, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 posting their worst monthly declines since May 2012, as investors held off making large bets ahead of a long holiday weekend amid escalating worries over Syria. Remember, the US market shut will remain shut today on account of Labour day take a check on the losses this month. Dow Jones tumbled 4.5% percent while the S&P 500 lost over 3%. The Nasdaq fared a little better though.


The 10-year treasury yields gained on weaker than expected economic data, with the possibility of a military strike against Syria adding to a safety bid ahead of a holiday-lengthened weekend.


On the economic data front, consumer sentiment retreated to 82.1 in august from 85.1 July. Meanwhile, consumer spending ticked up 0.1% in July versus estimates of gain of 0.3%. Business activity in the Midwest rose to levels of 53 in August from 52.3 in July.


Europe


Shares closed lower on Friday losing about 1 percent across the board and also finishing August at a loss overall, as a reduced chance of an immediate military strike on Syria weighed on energy equities via weaker oil prices. Euro zone business sentiment showed optimism had improved sharply in august with an increase of 2.7 points to 95.2. However, unemployment remained at a record high with a figure of 12.1% for July.


Currency


The dollar traded at a 4-week high of 82.26 on safe haven buying and conversely, the euro slipped to 1.31. After a volatile session, the rupee made a strong recovery to end stronger for the second day running shutting shop 85 paise stronger, at 65.70 per dollar on Friday. Help came in from dollar-selling by PSU banks, presumably on behalf of the RBI.


Commodities

Brent prices retreat further to USD 112/barrel levels. While Nymex slipped to sub USD 106/barrel mark on uncertainty over the Syria strike. Oil prices record their biggest monthly gain in a year, with Brent up more than 6 percent in August. From precious metals space, gold prices slid below USD 1400/ounce on a stronger dollar and as investors squared month end positions. Gold has gained nearly 5.6 percent this month.

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