GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares hover near 2-mth low as growth, US policy risks sap sentiment

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares hover near 2-mth low as growth, US policy risks sap sentiment
From Reuters - December 6, 2017

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares held close to a two-month low on Thursday as softer oil and copper as well as U.S. policy uncertainty kept sentiment in check, while high-tech stocks struggled to recover after a searing sell-off.

Investors are looking to the final tax legislation in the United States, where a potential U.S. government shutdown looms if Congress fails to agree on a spending package. There are also fears of a violent backlash in the Middle East from President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was barely changed in early trade, still hovering near a two-month low touched the previous day. From its 10-year peak hit on Nov. 23, it has slipped 4.6 percent.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 gained 1.2 percent after having suffered its biggest fall since late March on Wednesday.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS hit a two-week low on Wednesday while Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX edged down for its fourth straight session of losses.

I would say markets are going through a healthy correction after their rallies during the past three months, or six months. I dont think we need to panic, said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

A relentless selloff in U.S. technology shares, which has pressured global equities in recent weeks, subsided somewhat with S&P technology shares .SPLRCT bouncing slightly 0.75 percent.

The energy sector dragged the U.S. market lower overnight as oil prices dropped.

Oil prices flirted with two-week lows after its big fall on Wednesday, when a sharp rise in U.S. inventories of refined fuel suggested demand may be flagging, while U.S. crude production hit another weekly record.


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