Asian shares fell on Wednesday, amid a commodity rout and as investors wait for a Fed's rate hike next week. Japan's Nikkei hit a three-week low at 19,305, losing near 1.0%. Australia's S&P\ASX 200 dipped 0.55%, while India's Nifty shed 0.40%. China's CSI300 index bucked the trend, as traders hope for a government stimulus following weak trade data; the index rose 0.40% after a volatile day.
Oil prices recovered from 7-year lows, as U.S. crude inventories surprisingly fell 1.9 million barrels last week to 488 million barrels, against forecasts of a 252,000-barrel rise, according to private-sector surveys. Also supporting prices, Japan's core energy-intensive machinery orders rose sharply in October by 10.7% m\m. Brent crude futures gained 57 cents, or 1.43% to $40.85 a barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 70 cents, or 1.96% to $38.25 a barrel. Crude prices are expected to remain pressured however for some time, as the supply glut in the markets persists, especially after OPEC refused putting any ceiling on its production.
Dollar retreated, with its index losing 0.12% to 98.29. It fell 0.15% against the euro, trading close to its one-month low hit last Wednesday at 1.0975. Dollar inched down 0.04% against sterling after a 3-day bull run. It gave up 0.15% against the yen to 122.74.
Gold prices inched higher, supported by the dollar's retreat; the futures of the precious metal gained $1.20, or 0.11% to $1,076.50 an ounce. Silver futures performed better, rising 0.28%, or 4 cents to $14.15 an ounce. Copper futures advanced as well, clawing back $0.007, or 0.35% to $2.065 a pound.
Wall Street recorded losses across the board, led by energy companies, with Dow Jones tumbling 162 points, or 0.92% to 17,568. S&P 500 lost 13 points, or 0.65% to 2,063. NASDAQ was more muted, edging down just 3.5 points, or 0.07% to 5,098.24.
Investors will be waiting for a basket of data due today, with German trade balance for October forecast to have a surplus of 20.0B euros, marginally higher than September's 19.4B, and proving that Europe's largest economy is still performing well despite a scandal by car-maker Volkswagen, and a massive influx of refugees this year.
From the U.S., the official U.S. crude inventories are forecast to have grown 0.043M barrels last week, but as the private survey showed, there's a high possibility of missing this forecast to record a fall in inventories, which would be positive for oil prices.