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Morning bell: Crude prices slide on oversupply fears

Asian shares wobbled on Tuesday as crude oil prices slid on rekindled oversupply fears and after downbeat manufacturing data raised concerns about global momentum.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 percent, while Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.7 percent.

U.S. crude oil was down about 1 percent at $39.30 a barrel after skidding as much as 7 percent overnight, pressured by weak economic data from China, a U.S. forecast for mild weather and doubts suppliers would be able to agree on steps to address the global supply glut.

Gold was largely steady in Asia early on Tuesday with recent gains on easy monetary policies globally locked in and the market looking for further direction. 

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for April delivery traded in a narrow range and was last quoted at $1,128.60 a troy ounce, flat. Silver for March delivery traded at $14.350 a troy ounce and copper for March delivery fell 0.07% to 2.059 a pound.

Crude oil prices rebounded in Asia early Tuesday after a sharp sell-off overnight as prospects for cutbacks in output by major producers appeared to have dimmed. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for March delivery traded up 0.40% to $31.46 a barrel.

The Australian dollar edged down about 0.1 percent to $0.7106, but held above its recent seven-year trough of $0.6827. The greenback edged down slightly against its Japanese counterpart to 120.97 yen, but remained underpinned by the Bank of Japan's surprise move on Friday to adopt negative interest rates.



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