ASIA MARKETS: Asian Markets Power Ahead As Oil Prices Rally
By Ese Erheriene and Kosaku NariokaNikkei back into positive territory after quake triggers early dropAsian shares were broadly higher early Tuesday, with the Australian market rising to a one-month high, as oil prices rallied on expectations that key oil-producing countries will agree to a deal to slash production.The S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was also up 1.3%, Korea’s Kospi added 0.9%, and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7%.Stocks in Japan were initially down slightly, following a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the eastern coast of Japan early Tuesday, though the impact appeared limited and the Nikkei Stock Average later reversed to a gain of 0.3%.Overnight in the U.S., the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite climbed to a trifecta of records as stocks continued their post-election rally.Oil prices also rose to a three-week high as investors stuck to bets that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will reach a production deal at its meeting on Nov. 30. Brent, the global crude-oil benchmark , was recently up 0.9% at $49.36 a barrel.“Reports of the OPEC technical committee making progress in the first of their two-day meeting raised hopes of an output agreement,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Markets, in a note. “Jitters should nevertheless be expected ahead of the meeting at the end of the month, as it represents a huge event risk.”Markets in the region that are more dependent on oil production outperformed, including Australia and Singapore — home to many companies that serve the oil-and-gas industry. The FTSE Straits Times Index was last up 0.6%.Among energy stocks in Australia, Oil Search (>> Oil Search Limited) was up 2.4%, Woodside Petroleum (>> Woodside Petroleum Limited) added 2.3%, and Santos Ltd. (SSLTY) rose 3.8%. Elsewhere, Japan Petroleum Exploration (>> Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd.) surged 2.8% and Hong Kong-listed Cnooc (>> CNOOC Ltd) jumped 4%.