Asia gains as crude oil surge improves risk appetite
TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Asian stocks gained on Thursday in tandem with an oil price rally after OPEC members agreed to curb output – boosting investor risk appetite.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.6 percent.
Commodity-heavy Australian shares advanced 0.6 percent and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.7 percent. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.9 percent after losing 1.3 percent the previous day.
Overnight, European shares gained on a recovery in battered Deutsche Bank shares while the Dow rose 0.6 percent and the energy index had its best day since January in light of the OPEC agreement.
Oil prices settled up nearly 6 percent on Wednesday after OPEC struck a deal to limit crude output, seen as a surprise by the market, at its policy meeting in November. It was OPEC’s first agreement to cut production since 2008.
"With profits being squeezed the battle for market share can’t go on and this deal ushers in a new period of cooperation between OPEC nations and specifically between Saudi Arabia and Iran," wrote Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management.
"While we wouldn’t be surprised by some back-pedalling between now and November, this is a historic moment and one that should have a lasting impact on the Canadian dollar."
The Canadian dollar, which was already on the front foot against its U.S. peer earlier this week thanks to a perceived U.S. presidential debate win by Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump, soared even further.
A potential win by Trump, who has criticised trade agreements, has been a source of concern for U.S. neighbours Canada and Mexico.
The Canadian dollar traded at C$1.3051 to the dollar after gaining nearly a percent overnight. The loonie had seen a six-month low of C$1.3281 early on Tuesday amid jitters towards the U.S. presidential debate.
Other commodity-linked currencies also fared well as oil rallied, with the Norwegian crown touching a five-month high against the dollar on Wednesday. The Australian dollar hit a three-week high of $0.7696 early on Thursday.
The euro inched up 0.1 percent to $1.1223, while the dollar climbed 0.3 percent to 100.950 against the safe-haven yen as broader risk sentiment improved.
Brent crude was up 0.4 percent at $48.87 a barrel, adding to overnight gains of 5.9 percent. U.S. crude added 0.5 percent to $47.28 a barrel after rising 5.3 percent on Wednesday, when it hit its highest since Sept. 9.