Asian stocks, oil rise; Euro surges to two-and-a-half year high

  • Business
  • Monday, 28 Aug 2017

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.15 percent while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5 percent. Australian stocks were up 0.4 percent and South Korea's KOSPI added 0.2 percent. On Friday, Wall Street closed higher after U.S. jobs growth beat forecasts.

SINGAPORE: The euro hit a 2 1/2-year high early on Monday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi refrained from talking down the single currency, while oil prices rose after Hurricane Harvey struck at the heart of the U.S. energy industry.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1 percent, and Japan's Nikkei advanced 0.2 percent.

S&P E-mini futures slipped slightly.

Speaking at the U.S. Federal Reserve's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Draghi said the ECB's ultra-easy monetary policy was working and the euro zone's economic recovery had taken hold, but didn't cite the common currency's strength as a concern or discuss monetary policy specifically.

The euro rose to as high as $1.9665 early on Monday and was last up 0.3 percent at $1.1955, extending Friday's 1 percent jump.

"The EUR bulls will feed off anything they can get that suggests a less accommodative stance going forward," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, wrote in a note.

The dollar was slightly lower at 109.29 yen, adding to Friday's 0.2 percent slide after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaking at the same event as Draghi, also failed to address policy, focusing more on financial stability.

Yellen's remarks disappointed some investors who had hoped for hints on the Fed's plans for interest rates.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield closed at 2.171 percent on Friday, from Thursday's 2.194 and further undermining the dollar's yield appeal.

But lower bond yields helped give stocks a slight boost, with the Dow <.DJI> and the S&P 500 <.SPX> both ending about 0.15 percent higher on Friday, although the Nasdaq <.IXIC> closed about 0.1 percent lower.

Investors see a 40.7 percent chance of a rate hike by the Fed in December, down from 45.6 percent a month ago, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Brent , the global crude oil benchmark, rose 0.6 percent to $52.72 a barrel, adding to Friday's 0.7 percent increase.

U.S. oil pulled back slightly to $47.82, after Friday's 0.9 percent gain.

The U.S. Gulf Coast, which includes Texas, is home to nearly half the United States's refining capacity, and the reduced output could affect gasoline supplies across the U.S. Southeast and other parts of the country.

Operators had shut down several refineries and evacuated offshore platforms last week as the storm crossed the Gulf of Mexico.

Spot gold crept up 0.15 percent to $1,293.04 an ounce early on Monday, extending Friday's 0.4 percent gain. - Reuters
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