November 22, 2018: Asian equities stabilized Thursday following a modest rebound in energy and tech stocks on Wall Street, with US markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
But analysts warned the tepid uplift in New York Wednesday should not be interpreted as a sign of the start of a recovery from the recent carnage on global stock markets.
Investor sentiment remains fragile following the volatility that has swept markets since October, while the OECD has warned the world economy has peaked and faced a slowdown as it confronts the Trump administration's trade war and tighter monetary conditions.
Crude prices resumed their downward trajectory Thursday, after a brief recovery on Wednesday.
Crude prices have fallen by almost 30 percent from four-year highs touched at the start of October. Oil analysts attribute the pullback to high supply as well as a weakening global growth outlook.
“This half-hearted recovery effort should not be confused with anything other than pre-holiday scramble doing little more than what amounted to chasing oil prices,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.
“But with the overwhelming consensus suggesting we're not even close to being out of the weeds yet, it's down to the US retail sector to provide a lifeboat to investors as the markets pivots.”
The Nikkei was flat, with fresh data suggesting the world's third-largest economy is continuing to struggle in its years-long battle with deflation.
Inflation in Japan stood at one percent in October, unchanged from the previous month, according to government data.
Japan has battled deflation for many years and the central bank's ultra-loose monetary policy appears to have had limited impact.
Late last month, the Bank of Japan again revised down inflation forecasts, in the latest sign it had failed to make headway towards its two-percent target despite years of massive monetary easing.