Oil prices hit new seven-year lows on Monday, still shaken by the International Energy Agency's warning of a slowing demand in 2016 while supply keeps rising, especially from OPEC, as Iran readies for more pumping once sanctions are lifted. U.S. crude futures dropped 12 cents, or 0.35% to $35.50 a barrel, while Brent futures lost 20 cents, or 0.53% to $38.12 a barrel.
A batch of positive economic data from China failed to calm investors in Asia, unnerved by the rout in commodities. Japan's Nikkei index slumped to a seven-week low, before paring losses and trading at 18,811, still down a heavy 2.18%. Korea's KOSPI tumbled to a ten-week trough, losing 1.13%. India's Nifty was flat however at 7,609.
Chinese's shares were more upbeat, after data showed industrial production in November rising to 6.2% y\y, compared with October's 5.6%. Retail sales also rose to 11.2% y\y, compared with October's 11.0%. Also supporting the stocks, the yuan tumbled to new lows after the central bank lowered its guiding midpoint again, in what appears to be a planned gradual depreciation of the currency, which would help exporters, but lower imports. Other Asian currencies fell in tandem, with the Australian dollar touching a three-week low at $0.7158, before recovering to $0.7195. Australian stocks index S&P\ASX 200 plunged 1.87% to a ten-week trough.
Dollar clawed back some of its lost ground, with its index, which tracks the currency against a basket of its peers, gaining 0.26% to 97.86. Dollar rose 0.30% against the euro to 1.0960, pulling away further from a more-than-a month-low at 1.1042. It edged up 0.13% against sterling to 1.5197. Dollar dropped to 120.60 against the yen, before wiping its losses and rising to 121.11, with a 0.13% profit.
Gold prices were slightly up, with the precious metal's futures advancing $1.55, or 0.14% to $1,076.32 an ounce. Silver futures added a cent, or 0.10% to $13.93 an ounce. Copper futures were more upbeat, touching a three-week high at $2.127, with a $0.016 profit, or 0.65%.
Due to be released today, the Eurozone's industrial production for October, forecast to have grown 0.2% m\m, compared with September's 0.3% contraction. A steady production growth would be positive for the euro.