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Asian shares conquer 10-year peak, oil up on Iraq tensions

Kalerkantho Online   

16 October, 2017 10:00 AM



Asian shares conquer 10-year peak, oil up on Iraq tensions

People walk past an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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Asian shares advanced to a decade high on Monday, while U.S. oil futures jumped to hover near a six-month top as escalating tensions between the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces threatened supply.

Iraqi forces began moving at midnight on Sunday towards oil fields held by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, reports Reuters.

In response, U.S. crude climbed 0.9 percent to $51.92 a barrel, not far from $52.85 touched late last month - a level not seen since April. Brent crude climbed 1.2 percent to $57.88 per barrel.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained for a fifth day running to its highest level since late 2007.

Japan’s Nikkei rallied for a sixth day to a level not seen since November 1996. Australian shares extended their winning streak to a fourth straight session to rise 0.6 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index edged 0.1 percent higher.

China news could be a key driver of markets this week ahead of the start of a leadership summit and key economic data, including third quarter economic growth.

“In terms of event risk the focus is on China with the Party Congress getting underway on Wednesday... and inflation data today,” said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets.

“The inflation numbers are important as they form part of the argument around the global reflation thematic priced into markets of late.”

China’s producer prices beat market expectations to rise 6.9 percent in September from a year earlier helped by a construction boom that bolstered prices for building materials from steel to copper pipes.

China’s strong demand for raw materials this year has also helped produce a reflationary pulse that is being felt worldwide.

Indeed, both iron ore and coke, key ingredients in steel-making jumped on Monday. Dalian iron ore futures climbed 2.5 percent to a 2-1/2 week while coke for January delivery rose 2.4 percent.


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