GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares scale new 7-month highs; tight supply lifts oil

Asian shares rose to fresh seven-month highs on Wednesday as investors cheered signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and brisk economic data, while oil approached the key $70 per barrel mark.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.8 percent on Wednesday afternoon in Asia, after earlier touching its highest level since late August.

The index has risen more than 3 percent since Thursday following reports of progress in trade talks between the United States and China, as well as reassuring factory activity data from China and the U.S.

The run of gains for stock markets worldwide has also pushed MSCI’s key gauge of global equities to a six-month high. The global index was up more than 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

Even so, analysts struggled to point to a clear catalyst for the extended rally in equities.

“I think there’s a tendency for markets at times to just want to be positive unless you hit 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.

Oil prices also stood near multi-month highs amid concerns about supply, with Brent crude rising as much as 0.72 percent to $69.87 per barrel, its highest since November and near the psychologically important level of $70 per barrel.

It was last up 0.52 percent at $69.73. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 0.37 percent to $62.81 per barrel.

In currency markets, the pound was about 0.1 percent higher at $1.3139, having recovered its footing after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would seek another delay to Brexit to work out an European Union divorce deal with opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

 

SOURCE: https://uk.reuters.com/article/global-markets/global-markets-asian-shares-scale-new-7-month-highs-tight-supply-lifts-oil-idUKL3N21L1DN

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