EUROPE & ASIA: DOWN
European shares sank for a third day on Tuesday as a slide in oil prices showed no sign of easing off, supporting traditional safe-haven assets such as top-rated government bonds, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc.
Asian shares had slumped overnight after another day of drama on oil markets that drove U.S. crude to less than $50 a barrel for the first time since the first half of 2009 and handed Wall Street its worst losses in three months.
The resulting bid for safety drove the average of yields on German DE10YT=RR, U.S. US10YT=RR and Japanese JP10YT=RR 10-year debt to less than 1 percent for the first time.
Also hit by a poor reading from a purchasing managers' survey in Italy, all of Europe's major exchanges were in negative territory an hour into morning trade.
"Global risk sentiment has been hurt by sliding stocks and oil prices. That is leading to a perception that there is a lack of demand and that has implications for global growth," said Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC World Markets.
The FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading shares .FTEU3, along with France's CAC40 .FCHI and Germany's DAX .GDAXI, were all down 0.8 percent. Britain's oil and gas heavy FTSE index lost 1.3 percent .FTSE.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 dropped 3 percent, its largest fall in almost 10 months while South Korean shares fell 1.7 percent to a 1-1/2-year low. Even high-flying mainland Chinese shares .CSI300 pulled back after hitting 5-1/2-year highs earlier in the session. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1.4 percent.
The slide in oil prices has shown little sign of abating in the new year, plunging as much as 6 percent on Monday as investors continue to reprice for broadly lower global demand and the impact of heavy U.S. shale drilling.
Brent crude LCOc1 fell by another 1.5 percent to less than $53 after data showed Russian oil output at post-Soviet era highs and Iraqi oil exports near 35-year peaks.
"Falls in oil prices are going beyond many people's expectations. This will put pressure on the earnings of U.S. energy firms," said Hirokazu Kabeya, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.
Hit by the drop in U.S. 10-year yields and the general concern over global growth it reflects, the dollar fell more than half a percent against the yen to as low as 118.65 yen JPY=. It was also marginally lower against the Swiss franc, at 1.00655 francs CHF=.
For the moment, that has done little to dent the conviction of banks that the dollar will continue to rise this year.
"I would be a bit cautious about extrapolating too much so early in the year," said CIBC's Stretch. "This dip in risk appetite is likely to be temporary, and we should see the dollar recover against the yen and expect the euro to head lower."
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.