Asian shares mostly higher, oil weakens on Iran deal

November 25, 2013 4:03 PM

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HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose Monday following another record close on Wall Street, while oil prices fell after Iran struck a deal on its nuclear programme that will see eased sanctions on the oil producer.

The generally positive sentiment sent the yen sinking against the dollar, while it also hit a four-year low versus the euro.

Tokyo jumped 1.54 percent, or 237.41 points, to 15,619.13, its highest close since May 22. Sydney gained 0.32 percent, or 16.9 points, to 5,352.8 and Seoul added 0.49 percent, or 9.75 points, to close at 2,015.98.

However Hong Kong ended virtually flat, edging down 11.83 points at 23,684.45 while Shanghai lost 0.47 percent, or 10.26 points, to end at 2,186.12.

Traders took their cue from New York, where the S&P 500 ended above the psychologically important 1,800 level for the first time Friday. The Dow also closed at another record high, a day after it broke the key 16,000 level.

The S&P 500 added 0.50 percent, while the Dow climbed 0.34 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.57 percent.

The Dow has closed at new records 41 times in 2013, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.

On oil markets Brent prices tumbled more than two percent after Iran on Sunday agreed to curb its nuclear programme for the next six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

The deal, a preliminary accord laying the foundation for a comprehensive agreement, was reached after marathon talks in Geneva between Iran and the so-called P5+1 nations comprising the United States, China, France, Britain, Russia and Germany.

Brent North Sea crude for January delivery fell $2.33 or 2.10 percent to $108.72. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for January, was down $1.37, or 1.45 percent, at $93.47.

"Brent had rallied last week in response to market talk that the negotiations weren't going so well, and what we see right now is a downward correction of prices after the deal," Victor Shum, managing director at IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore, told AFP.

However, he added that despite the falls Monday the impact of the deal on global supplies would be limited since many of the sanctions on Iran would remain in place for now.

The yen came under further selling pressure on Monday as investor confidence in the global outlook improved. Traders generally move into the yen in times of economic uncertainty as it is considered a safe bet.

In afternoon trade the dollar was changing hands at 101.78 yen compared with 101.23 yen in New York Friday. The greenback last week topped 101 yen for the first time since July.

The euro was sitting around a four-year high at 137.80 yen compared with 137.21 yen in New York, while also fetching $1.3537 against $1.3555.

Gold fetched $1,231.50 per ounce at 1025 GMT compared with $1,242.80 on Friday.

State-run oil refiners Hindustan Petroleum Corp rose 6.32 percent to 215.20 rupees while Bharat Petroleum rose 4.07 percent to 346.25 rupees.

Coal producer Banpu closed unchanged at 28.00 baht while Bangkok Bank added 0.53 percent to close at 190.00 baht.

Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper rose 4.67 percent to 1,570 rupiah, while cement maker Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa fell 1.88 percent to 18,250 rupiah.

DBS Bank eased 0.23 percent to Sg$17.05 while oil rig maker Keppel Corp rose 0.18 percent to Sg$11.18.

-- Kuala Lumpur's main index gained 0.19 percent, or 3.45 points, to close at 1,797.97.

YTL Power International added 0.5 percent to 1.94 ringgit, while Axiata Group rose 0.3 percent to 6.73. Budget carrier AirAsia lost 2.9 percent to 2.37 ringgit.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co climbed 1.0 percent to Tw$101.0, while leading chip design house MediaTek was 0.94 percent higher at Tw$428.0.

Fletcher Building was off 0.11 percent at NZ$9.32 and Telecom fell 0.43 percent to NZ$2.29.

The index has lost about seven percent of its value since the Philippines was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, as traders grow concerned about its economic impact on the country.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. fell 1.57 percent to 2,630 pesos but Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. rose 0.47 percent to 74.75 pesos.


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