US and European markets ended down, with anxiety growing that stress tests to measure the mettle of Europe’s banks were overly lenient, said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.
The overriding fear concerns the difficulty banks face making money in a low interest rate era.
Oil edged up slightly, but investors remain on edge after the commodity sank into a bear market — a 20 percent fall from recent highs — on renewed worries about a supply glut as the crucial US summer driving season nears its end.Brent edged up 0.6 percent to $42.04 and West Texas Intermediate added 0.7 percent to $39.79.Both contracts are well down from the levels above $50 touched in early June when output was hit by disruptions in Nigeria and Canada.Attention will now turn to Friday’s US jobs report to provide a fresh snapshot of the US economy, with a weak figure likely to dent expectations of a Federal Reserve rate hike this year.
– Key figures around 0230 GMT –
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.9 percent at 16,249.97 (break)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.1 percent at 2,969.31
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 1.5 percent at 21,807.28
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1214 from $1.1224
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3327 from $1.3354
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 101.15 yen from 100.90 yen
New York – DOW: DOWN 0.5 percent at 18,313.77 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.7 percent at 6,645.40 (close)