|10 July, 2018

Asian shares, oil prices rally again

Investors are looking ahead to second-quarter earnings season

Global markets

Asian shares added gains early on Tuesday, tracking a rise on Wall Street.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan put on 0.4 percent in early trade, adding to a 1.3 percent rise on Monday.

On Wall Street, the Dow rose 1.31 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.88 percent and the Nasdaq 0.88 percent.

“Many investors are looking ahead to second-quarter earnings season, which begins in earnest see how the trade threat is affecting companies,” James McGlew, Perth-based analyst at stockbroking firm Argonaut, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

Markets in the Middle East were mixed on Monday.

Saudi Arabia’s index added 1.3 percent, as Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation added 2.5 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Abu Dhabi’s index added 0.03 percent, Abu Dhabi National Energy Co was one of the main gainers, climbing 4.4 percent. Emirates Telecommunications Group, which has the largest weighting on the index closed up 0.3 percent.

Dubai’s index lost 0.4 percent, with Emaar Properties falling 1.4 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank closed 0.6 percent down.

Qatar’s index dropped 0.7 percent, Qatar National Bank reversed an earlier gain to finish 1.0 percent down. The bank is due to release its second-quarter financial results on Wednesday. Qatar Islamic Bank closed 1.2 percent down.

Egypt’s index fell 0.5 percent, Kuwait’s index lost 0.2 percent, while Bahrain’s index closed 0.1 percent lower and Oman’s index fell 0.06 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices rose early on Tuesday on supply disruptions in Norway, Canada and Libya.

News that hundreds of oil workers in Norway are set to strike later in the day boosted oil prices.

Brent crude had added 32 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $78.39 per barrel by around 0303 GMT, following a 1.2-percent climb on Monday.

U.S. light crude futures were up 17 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $74.02. They gained 5 cents to settle at $73.85 a barrel the session before.

“The bottom line becomes the available spare capacity within OPEC ... and the markets have started to focus on that,” Victor Shum, vice-president for energy at IHS markets in Singapore, told Reuters.

“It is likely that concern will support prices all through the summer, while demand continues to be strong during the summer peak,” he said.


The U.S. dollar rallied early on Tuesday.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar bounced to 94.083 from a low of 93.713. The dollar also edged up to 111.01 yen, from a trough of 110.30.

The euro was back at $1.1755, having run into profit-taking at a three-week peak of $1.1790 overnight.

Sterling stayed on the defensive as two members of the British government resigned over Brexit.

The pound was trading near $1.3189 at one stage before bouncing somewhat to $1.3254. It was last down 0.1 percent at $1.3248.

Precious metals

Gold prices edged up early on Tuesday, amid political uncertainty over Brexit.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,258.12 an ounce at 0057 GMT. The metal touched its highest since June 26 at $1,265.87 on Monday.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery were 0.1 percent lower at $1,258.70 an ounce.

(Writing Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)

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© ZAWYA 2018

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