Commodities and Asian shares registered losses on Tuesday after the meeting of the Bank of Japan earlier in the day, where the bank decided to keep its stimulus program unchanged, while hinting at no more interest rates cuts deeper into negative levels, disappointing some investors and taking steam out of risky assets across the globe.
Gold futures tumbled 15 dollars, or 1.22% to trade at $1,229 an ounce, while silver futures tagged along, skidding nearly 30 cents, or 1.87% to hover around $15.31 an ounce. Copper futures, affected by China's worries, gave up 1.21% to move around $2.213 a pound, away from recent highs.
Oil prices similarly suffered losses, mainly on profit-taking and as Iran insists on pumping more oil to regain its pre-sanctions market shares, with Brent crude futures shedding 84 cents, or 2.12% to trade at $38.68 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped eighty cents, or 2.15% to move around $36.38 a barrel.
Asian shares fell as well, with Japan's Nikkei index retreating 0.70% to 17,117, away from a six-week high hit yesterday at 17,291, while Australian shares plunged 1.43%. South Korea's KOSPI edged down 0.12%, but China's Shanghai index bucked the trend, registering a small gain of 0.17% as traders hope for more stimulus by the government.
Investors wait for an array of U.S. data later today, with retail sales expected to have fallen 0.1% m/m in February, compared with January's lively 0.2% growth, which would be a nuisance for the dollar's trading before the Fed's meeting.
The U.S. Producer Price Index is forecast to have fallen as well by 0.2% m/m in February, compared to January's 0.1% rise, and would be another piece of negative data for the greenback.