Asia stocks extend global losses on oil price drop

Asian stock markets fell in thin trading Tuesday as falling oil prices deflated energy shares, while Singapore said it was kicking out a Swiss bank linked to Malaysia’s 1MDB.

Investors were also eyeing the start on Thursday of a Group of Seven summit in Japan, where U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders from the club of rich nations will meet for annual talks largely focused on the sputtering global economy.

Shares of oil-linked companies slumped as crude dipped for a second day after a pledge from Iranian officials to keep up production.

A stronger U.S. dollar and progress in controlling wildfires in Canada’s crude-producing Alberta province also helped to dampen prices.

In Tokyo, Japanese energy explorer Inpex tumbled 1.8 percent while refiner JX Holdings was down 0.4 percent.

In Hong Kong, Chinese energy giant CNOOC ended 2.1 percent off and PetroChina slumped 1.4 percent.

The Tokyo market ended down 0.9 percent as the stubbornly strong yen clouded the outlook for Japanese exporters’ profits.

Shanghai finished 0.8 percent lower, Seoul fell 0.9 percent, and Sydney lost 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index bucked the trend to end up 0.11 percent.

Singapore was down 0.6 percent. Also in the city state, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it had served Switzerland’s BSI Bank – which has been linked to a global money-laundering scandal rocking Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB – a notice of intention to withdraw its status as a merchant bank.

The MAS said it had also asked state prosecutors to investigate six senior executives of BSI Bank Ltd., including its former chief executive, for possible criminal offences.

It is the first time Singapore regulators have cancelled the license of a merchant bank since 1984.

Source: China Post