Asian stocks scale seven months in height; Oil is approaching $ 70 on tight supply

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian stocks rose to seven-month highs on Wednesday when investors saw signs of progress in US and China trade negotiations and economic economic data, while oil was approaching $ 70 a barrel.

FILE PHOTO: A man is seen in front of an electronic board showing stock information on the first trading day of the pig year after the Chinese Moon again, at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China February 11, 2019. REUTERS / Stringer [19659003] MSCI's widest Asia-Pacific stock index outside Japan was up 0.5 percent around 0310 GMT, after having previously affected its highest level since late August.

The index has risen almost 3 percent since Thursday following reports of progress in trade negotiations between the United States and China, as well as calming factory activity data from China and the US

The course of gains on stock markets worldwide has also pushed MSCI's key global equity meter to a six months height. The global index rose by 0.2 percent on Wednesday morning.

Hoping an agreement to end the trade war between the world's two largest economies was flaked by fresh comments from White House's financial adviser Larry Kudlow that Washington expects "to make more progress" in negotiations this week.

Nevertheless, analysts struggled to point out a clear catalyst for the extended stock rally.

"I think there is a tendency for markets to sometimes only be positive unless you beat them repeatedly, and not just with bad news but with new bad news," said Rob Carnell, chief economist and head of Asia – Pacific research at ING in Singapore.

"There has been a lot of bad news priced in. So maybe the lack of new negatives is enough to give a little sense of positivity to crawl in," he said.

Australian equities increased by 0.5 percent and Japan's Nikkei stock index rose 0.8 percent. Chinese blue jackets were flat, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gave 0.7 percent.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent to 26,179.13 points, the S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq Composite increased 0.25 percent to 7,848.69.

"After such a strong growth, it is not surprising that risk management stopped a bit," said Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro, in a morning note to clients.

But after a brief consolidation in risk sentiment, US treasury dividends were again ticking higher.

Benchmark 10-year government bonds gave 2.5027 percent, up from a US presence of 2.479 percent on Tuesday, and two-year returns affected 2.3240 percent compared to a US close to 2.308 percent.

Oil prices were also close to several months' highs among supply concerns, with Brent crude increasing as much as 0.72 percent to $ 69.87 per barrel, the highest since November, and close to the psychologically important level of $ 70 a barrel. .

It was last up 0.55 percent at $ 69.75. The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose by 0.42 percent to $ 62.84 a barrel.

News like the United States are considering more sanctions against Iran, the fourth largest producer in the oil company organization (OPEC), and the halt of production at a crude terminal in Venezuela threatened to push supply and pushed oil prices up on Tuesday.

In the foreign exchange markets, the pound was about 0.1 percent higher at $ 1.3139, after restoring its position after Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May said she would seek another delay for Brexit to prepare a European divorce agreement with the opposition Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The dollar strengthened 0.15 percent against the yen to 111.48 and the euro rose 0.17 percent to buy $ 1.121.

The dollar rate, which tracks the dollar against a basket of six major rivals, eased 0.16 percent to 97.206.

Cryptocurrency bitcoin, which increased 18.7 percent on Tuesday after a large order from an anonymous buyer, expanded its winnings by another 2.6 percent to $ 5,027.10.

Gold was flat, with spot gold trading at $ 1,292.67 per ounce.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sam Holmes

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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