Commodity prices fell en masse on Wednesday after Chinese shares recorded big losses, while a three-day union strike in Kuwait ended, nudging oil prices down as production is expected to come back to normal soon in OPEC's fourth largest producer, bringing back fears of a global supply glut.
Brent crude futures lost $1.09, or 2.45% to trade at $42.95 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $1.06, or 2.50% to hover around $41.41 a barrel, still holding on above $40 however for the time being.
China's Shanghai index slumped four percent without an apparent reason, as volatility returned back strongly to the markets of the world's second largest economy, while Japan's Nikkei index rose 0.20% to 16,906. Australian shares added more than half a percentage point.
Gold futures gave up more than four dollars, or 0.33% to trade at $1,250 an ounce, affected by profit taking, while silver futures eased four cents, or 0.25% to move around $16.92 an ounce. Copper sank over one percent to $2.202 a pound.
Investors wait for a basket of important U.S. data, with existing home sales expected to have risen to an annualized 5.29 million sales in March, compared to February's 5.08M, but recent housing data showed dismal results, so it remains to be seen if that will hold.
Also from the U.S., crude oil inventories are expected to have risen by 2.2 million barrels to a new record high last week, adding to the previous week's 6.6M addition, would would pressure crude prices further.