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Last Updated : Sep 24, 2015 07:53 AM IST | Source: Reuters

Asian shares tentative as global growth concerns linger

Worries that an eventual tightening in US monetary policy and slower growth in China could knock the global economy have scared off investors, particularly those invested in stocks and commodities.


Asian shares got off to a cautious start on Thursday after more dour economic news in China and the United States prompted a bruising selloff the previous day.


Worries that an eventual tightening in US monetary policy and slower growth in China could knock the global economy have scared off investors, particularly those invested in stocks and commodities.


MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up a touch in early trade after having posted their biggest single-day fall in almost a month the previous day.

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Japan's Nikkei average, opening for the first time since Friday after national holidays, tumbled 1.6 percent, edging near its seven-month low touched earlier this year.


Wall Street also lost ground on Wednesday, dragged down by economic reports portraying US factory growth as tepid and China in its worst manufacturing contraction since the global financial crisis.


"Investors will be cautious for the time being. Markets will become steadier only when uncertainties over Chinese economy and the US monetary policy diminish," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.


Adding to the gloom, emissions scandal at German automaker Volkswagen are raising worries the crisis at the car maker could develop into the biggest threat to Europe's largest economy.


Although shares in Volkswagen rose 5.2 percent on Wednesday, they had lost about a third of its value in the previous two sessions.


In the currency market, the euro was helped by comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that the bank needed more time to decide on whether further stimulus is required.


The euro rose to USD 1.1179, having bounced back from three-week low of USD 1.1105 touched on Wednesday.


The yen has been stuck in a narrow trading range over the past week and last stood at 120.21 to the dollar.


The spectre of higher US interest rates and slower growth in China continues to weigh on many emerging market currencies, however.


The Brazilian real sank to an all-time low of 4.179 per dollar, clobbered by a recession, fiscal deficit and political instability following corruption allegations against leading politicians in Brazil, the world's seventh largest economy.


Oil prices slipped toward the lower end of their trading ranges in the past week as the bullish impact from lower crude inventories was offset by large gasoline builds that raised concerns about high autumn fuel supplies.


Brent futures traded at USD 47.94 per barrel, after having lost 2.7 percent on Wednesday.


Platinum, used in diesel catalysts to clean up exhaust emissions, slid to its lowest level in more than 6 1/2 years on Wednesday on fears about reduced demand from the auto sector.

It last stood at USD 950.05 per ounce, having fallen to as low as USD 924.50.

First Published on Sep 24, 2015 07:53 am
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