Asian shares edged lower on Tuesday after downbeat economic data pressured Wall Street ahead of key U.S. jobs data later this week that could provide a key clue to the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate increase. Crude oil prices stabilized after plunging overnight, with U.S. crude adding about 0.6 percent to $45.42 a barrel. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei stock index slipped 0.5 percent, after breaking a three-day winning streak in the previous session.
U.S. factory activity slipped in July and consumer spending advanced at its slowest pace in four months in June, indicating the economy lost some momentum recently. The sluggish economic data did not change economists' expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates this year, given a tightening labor market. "We expect growth momentum to re-accelerate over the next few months, providing the Fed with the necessary confidence they need to raise rates in September," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended lower on Monday as tumbling oil prices dragged energy shares to a three-year low and factory data from China added to concerns about weakening growth in the world's second-largest economy.
The main Athens stock index ended down 16.2 percent, recovering slightly after plunging nearly 23 percent at the open. All five shares comprising the index - National Bank of Greece , Alpha Bank , Piraeus Bank , Attica Bank and Eurobank - were locked down for much of the session at the limit with no buyers. The banks have been propped up by emergency money from the European Central Bank.
Ex-trader Tom Hayes was sentenced to 14 years in jail by a London court on Monday after being found guilty of conspiring to rig Libor benchmark interest rates following a seven-year global investigation. After a nine-week trial and seven days of deliberations, the jury of five women and seven men found Hayes, a 35-year-old former UBS and Citigroup trader, guilty of all eight counts of conspiracy to defraud. In the first trial of a defendant accused of Libor rigging, Hayes had faced up to 10 years imprisonment for each count of conspiracy over the manipulation of London interbank offered rate (Libor), a crucial benchmark for around $450 trillion of financial contracts and consumer loans, between 2006 and 2010.