|09 July, 2018

Asian shares, oil prices rally

United States payrolls report showed tame wages

Tokyo businessmen react as they are reflected on a graph showing recent movements of Shanghai Stock Exchange B share index outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 29, 2015. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Tokyo businessmen react as they are reflected on a graph showing recent movements of Shanghai Stock Exchange B share index outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 29, 2015. Image for illustrative purposes only.

REUTERS/Issei Kato

Global markets

Friday’s United States payrolls report showed tame wages and more jobs were created, boosting a rally in Asian shares early on Monday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 1.1 percent.

On Friday on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 99.74 points, or 0.41 percent, to 24,456.48, the S&P 500 gained 23.21 points, or 0.85 percent, to 2,759.82 and the Nasdaq Composite added 101.96 points, or 1.34 percent, to 7,688.39.


“The combination of rising employment and increased labour force participation suggests healthy but not tightening labour market conditions in June, something that will allow the Fed to continue to hike rates at a gradual pace,” Kevin Cummins, a senior U.S. economist at RBS, told Reuters.

The United States imposed on Friday tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and were immediately countered by measures from China.

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Middle East markets

Stock markets in the Middle East traced a rise in global markets on Sunday.

The Saudi index gained 0.6 percent, with shares in retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Compnay rebounding 3.9 percent from heavy losses last week, when it reported a drop in annual profit and announced it would close up to 75 stores.

In Dubai, where the index was up 0.2 percent, Amanat Holdings was the company that posted the largest gains as it jumped 6.7 percent.

The investment firm said last week that it has agreed to acquire Middlesex University's campus in Dubai, which is partly owned by embattled private equity company Abraaj.

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.3 percent.

Qatar’s index added 0.7 percent, stocks in financial institutions posted significant gains ahead of second quarter financial results disclosures, expected to start later this week.

Qatar Islamic Bank and heavyweight Qatar National Bank were both up 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Bahrain’s index gained 0.4 percent. Aluminium Bahrain gained 0.8 percent after reporting a second quarter annual increase in sales and production of 19 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Egypt’s index lost 1.8 percent, while Kuwait’s index added 1.4 percent and Oman’s index lost 0.1 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices edged up early on Monday, as supply disruptions in Libya and Canada supported prices.

Global benchmark Brent was up 14 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 77.25 a barrel by 0113 GMT. On Friday, the contract slipped 28 cents to settle at $77.11 a barrel.

U.S. crude futures added 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $73.88 after trading slightly lower earlier in the morning. They gained 86 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $73.80 a barrel on Friday.

“(Nonetheless) supply disruptions in Libya and Canada may put upward pressure on prices in the near-term,” ANZ said in a morning note according to a Reuters report, adding that recent data showed “an increase in the net-long positioning of hedge funds on Brent crude”.


The U.S. dollar fell retreated following the jobs report.

Against a basket of currencies the dollar had pulled back to 93.937, from a top of 94.486 on Friday. The euro held its gains at $1.1760, while the dollar was flat on the yen at 110.45.

Sterling fell back as two members of the British government resigned over Brexit. The pound was trading near $1.3290.

Precious metals

Gold prices edged up early on Monday on a weaker dollar.

Spot gold was 0.2 percent higher at $1,256.85 an ounce at 0055 GMT.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery were up 0.1 percent at $1,257.60 an ounce.

(Writing Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)

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