Asian markets except Japan opened weaker tracking cues from the U.S., after the dollar strengthened to a seven-month high while commentary from the European Central Bank left investors uncertain about its future course of action on monetary stimulus.
The euro fell to a four-month low while oil prices held steady above the $50 per barrel mark.
ECB Commentary Leaves Investors Uncertain
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers haven’t discussed extending or tapering their stimulus efforts, on the same day traders weighed THE commentary on the third and final U.S. presidential debate.
Odds of a rate hike in December from the U.S. Federal Reserve got stronger by another couple of percentage points and now stands at 68 percent compared to last week, according to futures rates tracked by Bloomberg.
Energy and telecommunication shares led the fall in the U.S. equity markets on Thursday that ended the day with losses but off the session’s lows. While the S&P 500 ended 0.1 percent lower, the NASDAQ composite ended almost flat at 5,241.83.
Dollar At Seven-Month High, Euro Weakens
The euro fell to a four-month low against the U.S. dollar after ECB President Mario Draghi remained non-committal over more monetary stimulus in December.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained another 0.1 percent after gaining 0.5 percent on Thursday. The index however, may post its first weekly decline for the month of October.
The yen weakened for the second straight day as losses were seen in the Korean won as well.
Oil Prices Remain Above $50 Per Barrel
Crude oil prices held above the $50 per barrel mark as investors weighed a potential output cut despite Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft PJSC saying that the country has the capacity to add as much as four million barrels per day in case demand rises.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for December delivery was trading flat at $50.62 per barrel as prices are headed for a fifth straight weak of gains after U.S. stockpiles fell to their lowest level since January.
The SGX Nifty index was trading little changed at 8,706 indicating a tepid start to the last trading day of the week. Investors will react to second quarter numbers of stocks like Reliance Industries Ltd., as well as Biocon Ltd.
Information Technology company Wipro Ltd., as well as cement company ACC are slated to post their second quarter numbers later this evening.