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Stocks slide on oil spill

Rising global growth fears smashed oil markets and saw European and US shares slide. Tensions between China and the US are cruelling market sentiment. The pressure fell across the economic spectrum. Tech stocks’ integrated supply chains continue to weigh, resources fell on anticipated lower demand and consumer stocks were marked down on house price fears.

Crude oil prices dropped a further 6-7%. Base metals were caught in the industrial downdraft, and a strengthening US dollar added pressure. Commodity currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollars were hit hard. However the perceived safety of the Japanese yen saw it hold ground.

Cryptocurrencies were caught in the downdraft. Bitcoin traded towards US $4,000, the lowest level in more than a year. Bond yields were slightly lower, but it appears the strongest investor preference at the moment is cash.

Asia Pacific investors are facing opening falls of around 1%, although the fact that regional markets have already dropped further than their global peers may moderate losses today. Markets are looking to the G-20 meeting starting November 30 as a catalyst for a US-China rapprochement but hopes are fading as the date approaches without any signs of positive engagement.

The world’s largest listed mining group, BHP, will address shareholders and analysts this morning. The subject is capital allocation and investment decisions. While the BHP investor relations team may rue the timing, a settlement with the ATO of a long running dispute on Monday has traders speculating about the potential for increased returns to shareholders.

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