Asian stocks soar, oil harrowed near 10-month low on excess panics

SINGAPORE: Asian stocks boosted on Thursday, but oil futures floated near a 10-month low hit overnight on concerns over a supply glut and falling demand.

European stocks were mixed with financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE to open up 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX .GDAXI to be little changed and France’s CAC 40 .FCHI to start the day down 0.1 percent. All three closed in negative region on Wednesday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS soared 0.7 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose almost 0.1 percent. Shares in auto air bag-maker Takata Corp chrashed 50 percent as they exchanged hands for the first time since sources said last week it was preparing to file for debt.

South Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 added 0.3 percent, while Australian shares bounced up 1 percent. Taiwan shares .TWII hit a 27-year high.

The blue-chip index .CSI300 rose 1.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI climbed 0.5 percent. Chinese shares added to gains made on Wednesday after MSCI included area shares in its emerging market indexes.

Crude oil was gloomy as investors’ doubts that OPEC-led output cuts would dent a three-year glut offset data showing a drop in U.S. inventories.

Chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Chris Weston said, “The time for contrarian trades in oil is fast approaching, but I would want to see some stability in price and the technicals start to become more convincing.”

U.S. crude futures CLc1 slipped almost 0.1 percent, or 3 cents, to $42.50 a barrel. They closed down 1.6 percent on Wednesday after touching their lowest level since August.

Global benchmark Brent LCOc1 lost 0.1 percent, or 5 cents, to $44.77. It closed down 2.6 percent on Wednesday after touching a seven-month low.

The resulting deminsh in oil shares hit Wall Street overnight.

As investors tried to reunite a hawkish Federal Reserve with deteriorating inflation measures, financial stocks also donated to losses on Wall Street, driven lower by a drop in the Treasury yield curve to its calmest in almost a decade.

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer submitted that they are concerned less about raising rates too fast or too high than about keeping them too low for too long.

The yield curve between five-year notes and 30-year bonds US5US30=TWEB flattened to 95 basis points, the restricted since December 2007, on Thursday.

The dollar calmed, falling 0.2 percent to 111.145 yen JPY=D4.

The dollar index .DXY was about 0.1 percent lower at 97.487, extending Wednesday’s 0.2 percent loss.

The New Zealand dollar NZD= gained 0.5 percent to $0.7257 after the central bank left its interest rate unchanged at a record low as expected and iterated it would remain steady for a while.

Sterling GBP=D3 was steady at $1.2674, holding Wednesday’s 0.3 percent profit on comments by the Bank of England’s chief economist that he was likely to vote for an interest rate increased this year. Until now, he has been seen as largely supportive of keeping rates low.

The euro EUR=EBS was flat at $1.117, after Wednesday’s 0.3 percent gain.

The weaker dollar lifted spot gold XAU= 0.5 percent to $1,252.80 an ounce.

Source: Reuters

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