There was a big rally in oil prices late on Wednesday but this still failed to boost risk appetite and markets were down. In currencies like the safe haven yen firmed up while gold also rose.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.4 per cent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.4 per cent.
A weaker US dollar helped gold rise to $1278.
The dollar’s index dropped to 93.826, down from Tuesday’s high at 94.356.
USDJPY traded at 108.35 yen, having pulled back from Wednesday’s two-week high of 109.38, with its failure to test a major psychological level of 110 hurting sentiment for the dollar.
EURUSD recovered to $1.1428 from Tuesday’s low of $1.13585.
GBPUSD was around $1.1440, not far from a 2-week low of $1.4375 reached on Monday.
Sterling will likely become volatile today as the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee announces its rate decision and releases updated growth and inflation forecasts in a quarterly report. A press conference by the Bank’s Governor Mark Carney will also attract market attention.