Asian mar­kets up pre-OPEC meet

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

ASIAN mar­kets strug­gled yes­ter­day as oil prices staged a mild re­cov­ery from the pre­vi­ous day’s sharp sell­off, with in­vestors grow­ing un­easy over the chances of an out­put cut agree­ment at a crunch OPEC meet­ing.

Some of the big­gest pro­duc­ers in the world head into the Vi­enna con­fer­ence no closer to com­pro­mise on the de­tails of a Septem­ber agree­ment to ad­dress a glut that has bat­tered crude mar­kets for two years.

Uncer­tainty over the deal – with Iran and Iraq call­ing to be ex­cluded and Rus­sia look­ing only to freeze, rather than cut – has fu­elled volatil­ity on oil trad­ing floors in the past week and both main oil con­tracts plunged 4 per­cent on Novem­ber 29.

And while Brent and West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate re­cov­ered slightly in early Asian trade, in­vestors were still mov­ing cau­tiously.

“All eyes will be on Vi­enna to­day with Iran and Iraq both dig­ging their re­spec­tive heels in on pro­duc­tion caps,” Jeffrey Hal­ley, se­nior mar­ket an­a­lyst at OANDA, said.

“Fail­ure to come up with a vi­able so­lu­tion will see oil much lower to­mor­row. The con­vo­luted na­ture of the negotiations means com­pli­ance go­ing for­ward will be an is­sue as well, one sus­pects.”

Wor­ries about oil have weighed on global eq­ui­ties, which have en­joyed a strong few weeks since Don­ald Trump’s shock US elec­tion win, on hopes his poli­cies will ramp up eco­nomic growth.

All three main New York in­dexes rose af­ter data showed strongerthan-ex­pected third-quar­ter US growth, higher hous­ing prices in Septem­ber and a sharp re­bound in con­sumer con­fi­dence in Novem­ber.

But Asian in­vestors were a lit­tle more sub­dued and Tokyo ended flat, while Hong Kong came off ear­lier highs to sit up 0.23pc.

Shang­hai sank 1pc, Syd­ney was 0.3pc lower, and Seoul added 0.3pc while Sin­ga­pore put on 0.7pc.

The dol­lar re­cov­ered early losses against the yen, euro and pound to edge up as in­vestors bet on sharper rises in US in­ter­est rates when the FED meets next month.

But the green­back was down against most high-yield­ing units in the re­gion, hav­ing surged to mul­ti­month highs against them last week.

The won was up 0.1pc, the yuan was 0.3pc higher – though still at around eight-year lows – and the In­dian ru­pee added 0.2pc, hav­ing hit a record low last week. The Aus­tralian dol­lar and Malaysia’s ring­git were also stronger. –

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