Asian shares mostly lower, oil prices rally – CNBC

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Asian stocks fell on Monday, as oil prices rallied on supply outages in Canada and amid surprise over the exit of Saudi Arabia’s veteran oil minister Ali al-Naimi.

Investors were also digesting China’s weaker trade figures released Sunday, and mulling Federal Reserve interest rate expectations after U.S. non-farm payrolls on Friday showed a slide in the headline job number to 160,000.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 index, which had been wavering between gains and losses, dipped 0.28 percent, with its materials and financials sub-indexes down 0.91 percent and 0.41 percent respectively. The benchmark’s losses came despite gains in the energy sub-index, which was up 1.08 percent.

Mainland China markets fell in early Asian trade; the Shanghai composite lost 2.23 percent, while the Shenzhen composite sagged 2.94 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.27 percent higher.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.54 percent. The dollar/yen pair was trading up 0.22 percent at 107.34. A weaker yen is generally better for Japanese manufacturers, because it makes their products cheaper for overseas buyers.

Bank of Japan minutes released on Monday had shown that policymakers agreed that the economy was recovering, but some policymakers warned of weaker consumer sentiment, and cast doubts over the effectiveness of negative interest rates, Reuters reported.

Across the Korean Strait, South Korea’s Kospi index was down 0.61 percent on its first day of trade after being shut on Thursday and Friday for public holidays.

Oil prices surged more than 2 percent at the start of Asia’s Monday session, as wildfires in Canada shut half of the country’s vast oil sands output over the weekend, Reuters reported.

Also, Saudi Arabia replaced its long-time oil minister Ali al-Naimi withKhalid al-Falih, the chairman of Saudi Aramco, in a move analysts said signaled a new era for crude markets and appeared to be a reaffirmation of Saudi policy to let oil set its own price.

At 6:40 a.m. HK/SIN U.S. crude futures were up 2.75 percent to $45.88 a barrel, after opening at $45, while Brent rose 2.23 percent to $46.38, after opening at $45.75.

Asian shares mostly lower, oil prices rally – CNBC}