Euro pressured, oil slide a boon for bonds
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The euro was pinned near nine-year lows on Wednesday as investors wagered the European Central Bank was just a week away from launching a new stimulus campaign, while concerns about the global economy kept Asian equities subdued.
There was no reprieve for commodities with oil near six-year lows while copper prices dropped further below $6,000 per tonne to their weakest level in more than five years.
Not helping the mood was news the World Bank had lowered its global growth forecasts because of sluggishness in the euro zone, Japan and some major emerging economies.
"The global economy is at a disconcerting juncture," World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu told reporters. "It is as challenging a moment as it gets for economic forecasting."
That was a challenging background for equities and Australia's main share index slipped 0.3 percent in early trade.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was just a fraction firmer.
Wall Street had ended Tuesday with minor losses, led by a drop in materials and energy shares. It was a choppy session with the S&P 500 swinging from a gain of 1.4 percent to a fall of 1 percent before steadying.
The Dow .DJI eased 0.15 percent, while the S&P 500 .SPX dipped 0.26 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 0.07 percent. Continued...