Thursday outlook: Asian shares rise, oil prices retreat

Asian shares rose on Thursday, following a surge on Wall Street overnight. Saudi Arabia's index adds 1 percent and Dubai's index jumps 1.5 percent. More commentary on oil prices, currencies and precious metals

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Crude oil extraction pump pulling crude oil up to the surface and pushing it into pipelines in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Crude oil extraction pump pulling crude oil up to the surface and pushing it into pipelines in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

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  • Asian shares follow Wall Street higher
  • Gulf stock markets surged on Wednesday
  • Oil prices drop on demand concerns
  • Dollar retreats, gold prices add gains

Global markets

Asian shares added gains on Thursday tracking a surge on Wall Street overnight, after a sell-off during the month of October.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.9 percent, adding to modest gains the previous day after falling 10.2 percent in October.

Wall Street rose for a second day on Wednesday on strong company third quarter results.

“What we are seeing is the equity markets trying to rebound after bottoming out. Corporate earnings in the U.S. and Japanese markets have been relatively strong on the whole, which means there are plenty of bargain hunting opportunities,” Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo, told Reuters.

“The ongoing rebound has further room to go. The U.S.-China trade conflict will continue popping up as a market factor going forward, but the worst fears appear to have subsided for now, at least through the U.S. midterm elections.”

Middle East markets

Saudi Arabia’s index added 1 percent on Thursday, breaching a major technical support, above its 200-day average of 7,902.35 points.

Saudi Advanced Industries rose 5.5 percent after posting an increase in its third-quarter profit. Middle East Paper also added 2.4 percent after reporting a gain its profit for the same period.

Dubai’s index added 1.5 percent boosted by Arabtec and Emaar Properties which gained 5.8 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.

Abu Dhabi's main index was up 0.9 percent as a 15 percent surge in Ras Al Khaimah for White Cement and Construction Materials boosted the index.

Qatar’s index jumped 1.4 percent to 10,301 points. Qatar National Bank climbed 5.4 percent and telecommunications firm Ooredoo gained 3.6 percent.

Egypt's blue-chip index was up 0.7 percent, helped by a 3 percent gain in El Sewedy Electric and a 5.9 percent rise in Qatar National Bank Alahly.

Oman’s index was up 0.1 percent, while Kuwait’s index edged up 0.2 percent and Bahrain’s index edged up 0.1 percent.

Oil prices

Oil prices dropped in early trading on Thursday on demand concerns amid global economic slowdown.

The Brent crude January futures contract lost 44 cents, or 0.32 percent, to trade at $74.72 per barrel by GMT 0054 GMT.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 46 cents to $65.01 a barrel.

“Oil investors are now betting on the potential of global slowdown,” Bruce Xue, an analyst with Huatai Great Wall Capital Management, told Reuters.

Currencies

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.2 per cent.

Precious metals

Gold prices traded higher on Thursday as the dollar retreated.

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,216.23 an ounce, as of 0123 GMT, after three sessions of falls in a row.

US gold futures rose 0.2 per cent to $1,217.8 an ounce.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@thomsonreuters.com)


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