Asian Stock Markets down after Failed Oil Freeze Talks in Doha
Stock markets in Asia are plagued by the failure to see an 'oil freeze deal' reached at OPEC's oil talks in Doha over the weekend. Saudi Arabia announced it will not curtail its oil production as long as other oil producing countries do not curtail production as well. It specifically wants its geopolitical rival Iran to join the production freeze. However, Iran decided not to join the meeting and ruled out any output cuts after recently rejoining the international oil market (due to the lifting of sanctions). Iran indicated it is not cut any output before its oil production reaches the pre-sanction level.
As a result of the failure to achieve an oil production freeze oil prices fell more than 5 percent during the first hours of Asian trade. Brent crude oil futures plunged approx. 5.2 percent to USD $40.86 per barrel, while US crude fell approx. 5.5 percent to USD $38.15 a barrel.
Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) lost about 0.46 percent shortly after the opening of trade on Monday morning, while the Indonesian rupiah depreciated 0.21 percent to IDR 13,205 per US dollar (Bloomberg Dollar Index).
Meanwhile, earthquakes in Japan caused further deteriorating sentiment in Japan. A big 7.3 magnitude earthquake on Saturday (16/04) caused widespread damage and made some of the country's major manufacturers halt production. Japanese shares also tumble due to the stronger yen (against the US dollar).
By 09:10 am local Jakarta time on Monday morning (18/04), Japan's Nikkei 225 had fallen 2.73 percent, China's Shanghai Composite was down 1.17 percent, Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.59 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index had fallen 0.89 percent.