Asian shares hit ten-year high

Investors breathe sigh of relief as N Korean fears ease

  

Asian shares hit a 10-year peak on Tuesday with investors breathing a sigh of relief as North Korean fears eased slightly and the worst-case scenario from Hurricane Irma looked to have been avoided.MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent to its highest level since late 2007.

On Wall Street on Monday, U.S. S&P 500 Index  surged over 1 percent to a record high close of 2,488 while MSCI's broadest gauge of the world's stock markets covering 47 markets also hit a new record high, having made its biggest gains in about two months.

In the Middle East, the Saudi index gained 0.5 percent in rising trading volume as Nama Chemicals, which had surged 9.5 percent in unusually heavy trade on Sunday, added a further 2.1 percent to 21.90 riyals, though it pulled back from near technical resistance at its May peak of 23.22 riyals.Saudi British Bank climbed 2.6 percent to 28.15 riyals after Morgan Stanley raised the stock to "overweight" from "equal-weight" and lifted its target price to 32.50 riyals from 31 riyals.

The Dubai index edged up 0.2 percent. Union Properties, the most heavily traded stock, added 0.9 percent and Deyaar gained 0.8 percent.

In Egypt, the index climbed 0.6 percent in active trade after news that annual urban consumer price inflation dipped to 31.9 percent year-on-year in August from 33.0 percent in July.

In commodities, oil prices edged down in early Asian trading on Tuesday, as traders weighed up the dampening effect on demand of Hurricane Irma versus refinery restarts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey that should lead to more crude oil processing.International benchmark Brent crude was down 5 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $53.79 per barrel by 0247 GMT from the previous close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 4 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $48.03 a barrel.

Gold on Tuesday extended losses from the previous session, with equities strengthening and the dollar holding gains as investor appetite for risk showed signs of picking up. 

In other news, Egypt's current account deficit for the fiscal year 2016-2017 that ended in June narrowed by 21.5 percent, standing at $15.57 billion from $19.83 billion the previous year, the central bank said on Monday.

Tunisia's government wants to halve its budget deficit and trim the public wage bill in the next three years as part of a reform package to revive the economy, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Monday.

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