Asia shares shaky, oil recovers after slump on OPEC export rise
Asian shares were tentative on Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve`s last meeting showed a lack of consensus on the future pace of interest rate increases, while oil prices inched higher following the previous day`s steep declines.
MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed early on Thursday.
Japan`s Nikkei slipped 0.15 percent.
South Korea`s KOSPI was flat, while Australian shares dropped 0.15 percent. In Asia, trading over the past few days has been buffeted by tensions in the Korean peninsula after North Korea fired a missile into Japanese waters.
On Wednesday, US crude tumbled by as much as 5.4 percent, snapping an eight day winning streak, the longest rally in over five years, as rising OPEC exports and a stronger dollar turned sentiment more bearish.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq closed up 0.7 percent as technology shares recovered, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 0.15 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was flat.
Fed policymakers were increasingly split on the outlook for inflation and how it might affect the future pace of interest rate rises, according to the minutes of the central bank`s June 13-14 policy meeting released on Wednesday.
Several officials also wanted to announce a start to the process of reducing the Fed`s large portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities by the end of August but others preferred to wait until later in the year.
"The minutes from the June 13-14 FOMC meeting underscore that the start of the balance sheet reduction is on course for this year," Kathy Bostjancic, head of US macro investor services at Oxford Economics, wrote in a note.
"On the interest rate front, we believe rising concerns that the slowdown in the inflation rate could be long-lasting will lead policymakers to forgo additional rate hikes this year and to only raise rates twice (total 50 basis points) in 2018."
US 10-year Treasury yields
The dollar was steady at 113.25 yen
Markets are now awaiting US non-farm payrolls for June, due Friday, for more insight into Fed policy.