Asian stocks rally with oil, Tokyo hits 10-month high

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

ASIAN mar­kets rose yes­ter­day with en­ergy stocks track­ing a surge in oil prices, while Tokyo hit a fresh 10-month high af­ter an early sell-off prompted by a huge earth­quake off the north­east coast.

The quake struck around dawn in the same re­gion as the deadly 2011 tremor, spark­ing fears of an­other tragedy. But the tsunamis this time were not as high as five years ago.

The yen strength­ened against the dol­lar af­ter the quake as in­vestors sought out safe-haven as­sets, but gave up most of the gains as it emerged there was no ma­jor dam­age.

The dol­lar fell to as low as 110.27 yen be­fore bounc­ing back to sit at 111.00 yen in the af­ter­noon, with ex­pec­ta­tions it will ex­tend gains on bets for higher US in­ter­est rates un­der Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­dency.

Ja­pan’s Nikkei re­bounded to end up 0.3 per­cent at its high­est mark since Jan­uary.

Hopes that the OPEC oil car­tel and Rus­sia will be able to ham­mer out an agree­ment to cut pro­duc­tion have lit a fire un­der crude prices and in turn en­ergy stocks.

With OPEC’s twice-yearly gath­er­ing set for Novem­ber 30, spec­u­la­tion is mount­ing that of­fi­cials are close to a deal to tackle a global sup­ply glut.

“Mar­ket play­ers are po­si­tion­ing them­selves for higher prices, and oil will be in the US$50 to $55 range if there is a deal,” Gio­vanni Staunovo, an an­a­lyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich, told Bloomberg News.

“OPEC mem­bers are build­ing a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions and tak­ing too much ex­po­sure to let a deal fail.”

Both main con­tracts surged more than 4 per­cent on Novem­ber 21 and gained nearly 1pc in Asian trade.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng In­dex closed 1.4pc higher and Shang­hai ended up 0.9pc. Syd­ney added 1.2pc, Seoul 0.9pc and Sin­ga­pore 0.6pc.

Taipei ral­lied more than 1pc while Jakarta, Manila and Kuala Lumpur also gained af­ter re­cent losses. But traders re­main on edge about Mr Trump’s plans for global trade, fear­ing pos­si­ble huge tar­iff in­creases.

The up­lift tracked a record close on Wall Street for all three main in­dexes thanks to the en­ergy rally and ex­pec­ta­tions for a rate rise. –

Photo: AFP

A pedes­trian walks past an elec­tronic quo­ta­tion board dis­play­ing the ex­change rate of the Ja­panese yen against the US dol­lar in Tokyo yes­ter­day.

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