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Asia shares rise, oil extends gains

Asian shares were cautiously higher on Thursday, while the dollar eased ahead of US non-farm payrolls data, and oil prices gained for a fourth day after deep production cuts pledged by OPEC+ members.

October 6, 2022
By AAP
6 October 2022

Asian shares were cautiously higher on Thursday, while the dollar eased ahead of US non-farm payrolls data, and oil prices gained for a fourth day after deep production cuts pledged by OPEC+ members.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent in early Asia trade, as US futures gained. The index is up 4.0 per cent this week after faling 13 per cent in September.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index climbed 0.7 per cent to its highest level since September, South Korea advanced 1.2 per cent and Australia edged 0.1 per cent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, on the other hand, fell 0.5 per cent.

S&P 500 futures advanced 0.6 per cent, and the Nasdaq futures gained 0.9 per cent, building on a late rebound in US stocks which helped limit earlier losses. The S&P 500 finished Wednesday 0.20 per cent lower and the Nasdaq Composite ended down 0.25 per cent.

Mainland Chinese markets remain closed for holidays.

The Refinitiv Asia Energy index rose 0.7 per cent, after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies agreed to cut oil production the deepest since the COVID-19 pandemic began, curbing supply in an already tight market.

Oil prices rose for a fourth consecutive day to their highest level since mid-September. Brent crude futures were up 0.6 per cent at $US93.9 ($A144.1) a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures also gained 0.6 per cent to $US88.26 ($A135.41) per barrel.

Earlier this week, US economic data suggesting that the labour market and economy were slowing as well as the Reserve Bank of Australia’s surprise move to raise rates by only 25 basis points fuelled hopes of less aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks and lifted risk sentiment.

But those hopes were dashed after a slightly above-forecast report from the Institute for Supply Management showed a rebound in the employment index for the US services sector.

“The optimism that buoyed financial markets earlier this week receded as US data continued to articulate the need for further, decisive central bank policy action,” said analysts at ANZ.

“Attention is now firmly focused on the September labour market report… The market needs to prime for a strong number.”

US non-farm payrolls data is due on Friday and analysts polled by Reuters expect 250,000 jobs were added last month and unemployment to come in at 3.7 per cent.

Overnight, San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly underscored the US central bank’s commitment to curbing inflation with more interest rate hikes, although she also said the Fed will not simply barrel ahead if the economy starts to crack.

Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic said the US Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation is likely “still in early days”.

In currency markets, the dollar eased 0.2 per cent against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, after climbing 0.7 per cent overnight on hawkish comments from Fed officials.

US Treasury yields were largely steady after jumping overnight.

The yield on benchmark ten-year notes eased two basis points to 3.7368 per cent while the yield on two-year notes stabilised at 3.7388 per cent.

Gold was slightly higher. Spot gold was traded at $US1,719.49 ($A2,638.12) per ounce.

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