The U.S. had announced late last week that top importers will be temporarily allowed to keep buying Iranian oil.
“The introduction of U.S. sanctions earlier this week against Iran failed to lift the market given the announcement that eight countries, including three of the world’s biggest importers, would receive waivers to carry on buying Iranian crude for up to six months,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told Reuters.
Asian shares surged on Thursday following a Wall Street rally overnight post U.S. midterm elections.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.5 percent.
Wall Street’s main indexes rose more than 2 percent on Wednesday, boosted by the technology and healthcare sectors.
The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 3.25 percent on Wednesday, its highest since October 9.
“The key point after the midterm elections is that U.S. stocks showed they had developed immunity towards higher yields. The last time long-term Treasury yields were at this level a month ago, they had helped trigger a major fall by stocks,” Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.
“Steady U.S. fundamentals will support this trend of equities and yields rising in tandem, which should also prop up the dollar in the longer term.”
Middle East markets
Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 0.25 percent on Wednesday as shares in Savola Group, the kingdom's largest food products company, dropped close to 10 percent after the company reported a quarterly loss from a profit a year earlier.
Saudi-listed Al Tayyar Travel Group also dropped 2 percent after posting a quarterly loss.
Dubai’s index gained 0.5 percent as Emaar Properties gained 1.6 percent and Damac Properties was up 1.5 percent.
Abu Dhabi's index erased early losses and ended the day up 0.3 percent as Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rose 1 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank gained 1.1 percent.
Qatar’s index dropped 1.2 percent Egypt’s index gained 1.3 percent while Oman’s index closed 0.56 percent higher, Bahrain’s index edged up 0.18 percent and Kuwait’s premier index gained 0.44 percent.
The dollar was trading higher early on Thursday.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, last traded at 96.19, gaining 0.21 percent.
Against the yen, the dollar edged up 0.1 percent.
Gold prices were steady as the dollar edged higher.
Spot gold was flat at $1,225.61 per ounce at 0115 GMT.
U.S. gold futures was down 0.2 percent to $1,226.6 per ounce.
(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)
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