Asian stocks up on Friday; oil firm on OPEC+ output cut

Asian stocks gained on Friday as investors took heart from U.S. President Donald Trump saying trade talks with China were “moving right along”, and U.S. oil prices sat near 2-1/2-month highs after OPEC and other producers agreed to cut output.

Asian Stocks

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.4%.
  • Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2%.
  • Australian shares rose 0.4%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.9%,.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gaining 0.7%.


In the currency market, the British pound soared on growing confidence that next week’s election will give the Conservative Party the parliamentary majority it needs to deliver Brexit, ending near-term uncertainty.

  • Sterling spiked to a seven-month high of $1.3166 on Thursday and last stood at $1.316, up 1.6% so far this week. It hit 2-1/2-year highs versus the euro.
  • The euro stood at $1.1107, near a one-month high of $1.11165 set on Wednesday, lifted by firmer euro zone economic data.
  • That helped push the dollar against a basket of major currencies to a one-month low of 97.356 on Thursday. The index was last quoted at 97.379.
  • Against the yen, the dollar traded at 108.67 yen, having slipped slightly the previous day.

Oil Prices

  • Brent crude futures dipped 0.4% to $63.14 a barrel, having struck its highest on Thursday since Nov. 28.
  • U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude eased 0.3% to $58.24 per barrel still not far off Thursday’s 2-1/2-month high of $59.12.

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