Asian shares dropped on Wednesday, reversing early gains, as analysts said sky-high oil prices meant stocks were quick to react to any hint of bad news such as a rate hike by New Zealand's central bank.
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MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.6per cent, while Japan's Nikkei lost 1.66per cent, having risen more than 1per cent in early trade.
There were falls in Hong Kong off 0.77per cent, Korea down 0.98per cent and Australia 0.8per cent lower, and U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis shed 0.45per cent.
Oil steadied at multi-year highs having been pushed there by concerns about energy supply, and a decision on Monday by the OPEC+ group of producers to stick to a planned output increase rather than raising it further. [O/R]
U.S. crude rose to its highest level since 2014 but pared gains and was last off 0.15per cent to US$78.81 a barrel. Brent crude lost 0.07per cent to US$82.46 per barrel, having hit a three-year high in the previous session.
"OPEC’s outlook suggests further reductions in global oil stockpiles. That’s a problem given that oil inventories are already low," wrote analysts at CBA in a note.
These worries have also weighed on equity markets, concerned that higher energy prices could force central banks to raise rates more quickly to react to rising inflation.