GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares steady, earnings still in focus
TOKYO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Asian shares steadied, but sentiment remained vulnerable with weak corporate earnings continuing to undermine investor confidence.
"Global sentiment is not conducive to risk-taking. In fact we are seeing more defensive plays," said Lee Kyung-soo, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities, adding that the Korean stock market will likely hold steady ahead of third quarter results from Hyundai Motor Co.
Oil falls on US crude stocks rise, Europe's weak data
NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Brent crude prices fell for a seventh consecutive session on Wednesday as rising U.S. crude inventories and weak euro zone economic data offset supportive signs that Chinese petroleum demand could stage a recovery.
"The report is mostly bearish, with the large increase in crude oil inventories being the highlight of the report," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
NATURAL GAS - US natgas futures end down on mild extended forecasts
NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures ended lower on Wednesday for the second time this week, undermined by prospects for a sizable inventory build on Thursday and by milder early-November weather despite the cold shot expected next week that should stir more demand.
"We're still seeing plenty of supply, and demand has peeled back a bit with the milder weather. Unless we get some cold weather, we could see prices move even lower," said Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics in Texas.
Euro Coal-S.Africa coal prices hit fresh lows, $77/T trades
LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - South African prompt physical coal prices fell by $2.60 a tonne to the lowest since late December 2009 on Wednesday, extending a month-long decline, with a trade at $77.00 for a November cargo, traders said.
"There is still a lot of Q4 South African in traders' hands and it just doesn't price in competitively in most markets," one trader said.