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Oil Falls Amid Demand Concerns And Strengthening Dollar

TOKYO, April 20 (Reuters) – Oil prices were down in Asian trade on Thursday as the U.S. dollar strengthened on rate-hike expectations and after recent economic data from the U.S. and China did not do enough to encourage expectations that demand will improve.

Brent crude futures lost 78 cents or 0.94% to trade at $82.34 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) futures dropped 95 cents, or 1.20%, to $78.21 as of 0615 GMT.

Both benchmarks, declining for a second day after a 2% fall on Wednesday, are at their lowest since OPEC+ announced its surprise production cut on April 2.

Full coverage: REUTERS

BOJ Open To Tweaking YCC This Year If Wage Momentum Holds – Sources

TOKYO, April 20 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan is warming to the idea of tweaking its controversial bond yield control policy later this year, but will likely keep settings unchanged at next week’s meeting as it awaits more evidence of sustained wage growth, sources say.

Kazuo Ueda chairs his first policy meeting since becoming BOJ governor on April 27-28 and his appointment has heightened expectations the bank will begin unwinding its ultra-loose settings – the only question is when.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Asian Shares, Dollar Wobble On Caution Before Before Central Bank Meetings

SINGAPORE, April 20 (Reuters) – Asian stocks inched lower on Thursday, while the dollar clung to overnight gains in cautious trading as U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers reiterated their commitment to reining in inflation despite signs of mounting economic headwinds.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was 0.16% lower, set for third straight day of losses. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) was up 0.27%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) was 0.13% higher.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Analysis: Crisis Radar Falls On Fault Lines In Europe’s Commercial Property

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) – European banks appear better positioned than U.S. peers to weather any stress from commercial property after an interest rate surge, but that does not mean Europe is out of the danger zone.

Aggressive rate hikes, still working their way through the system, follows a pandemic that hurt foot traffic to bricks-and-mortar retail locations and structurally changed work habits, with office occupancy rates still below pre-COVID levels.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Morning Bid: Cautious Markets Focus On Central Banks’ Diverging Paths

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

Investors have hunkered down in Asian hours with stocks drifting while the dollar clings to gains from overnight. The prevailing anxious mood is likely to continue as we head into the crucial next few weeks of central bank meetings.

A Reuters poll of economists showed the Fed is expected to deliver a final 25-basis-point rate increase in May and then hold rates steady for the rest of the year. Markets also expect that hike but anticipate some cuts towards the end 2023.

Full coverage: REUTERS

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