A surprise leap in Chinese commodity imports helped steady oil prices and energy-exposed currencies on Tuesday, though a second day of falls for world stocks and a two-month low for emerging market bourses kept the global mood subdued.
Investors were still struggling for confidence after Monday’s 6 percent plunge in oil [O/R] had whacked it to its lowest level of the year and the prospect of the first U.S. interest rate hike in almost a decade next week also loomed.
European shares .FTEU3 opened at their lowest level since mid October as energy and mining stocks .SXPP fell sharply again [.EU] and as manufacturing figures from Britain also saw a drop. ECONG7
Currencies of major oil exporting nations such as the Canadian dollar CAD= and the Norwegian crown NOK= remained under pressure despite their slight recovery, while safe-havens like the yen JPY= and the low-yielding euro EUR= did well.
“If you are looking to play weak oil prices you would want to sell the Canadian dollar and the Norwegian crown,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC World Markets.
“With oil prices falling and some even talking about oil falling to $30 a barrel, revenues for these countries will take a beating and hence their currencies will remain under pressure.”
Internationally traded Brent futures LCOc1 were up 31 cents at $41.04 a barrel and U.S. crude CLc1 was at $37.82 in early European trading, though there was little certainty from traders that they would remain steady.
It has fallen 40 percent since early May and…