Asia Stocks Rise For Third Day, Oil Prices Stabilize After Iran Deal

Asian shares rose for the third straight day on Tuesday, while oil prices regained some semblance of stability after the previous session’s slide as traders questioned how quickly the Iranian nuclear accord could turn into higher supplies.

The yen came off a 4-year trough against the euro, and inched up against the dollar as traders repositioned after several days of sharp moves.

Thailand was in the spotlight again as political instability threatened to undermine the economy.

The baht bounced from a 11-week low on suspected intervention by the Thai central bank, but intensifying political uncertainty as anti-government protesters stepped up their bid to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has triggered heavy outflows of foreign money, keeping pressure on the currency.

The baht was flat at 31.97 per dollar, off its low of 32.09, while Thai shares .SETI advanced 0.7 percent after hitting an 11-week closing low on Monday.

“The baht will weaken further depending on the sustainability and intensity of the protests as they will hurt the still fragile economy,” said Saktiandi Supaat, head of FX research for Maybank in Singapore.

Financial bookmakers expected major European indexes .FTSE .GDAXI .FCHI to open steady to slightly softer.

U.S. crude prices added 0.5 percent to $94.5 a barrel, recouping some of the previous session’s 0.8 percent decline following a weekend deal between the West and Tehran to halt Iran’s most sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for some relief from sanctions.

Brent crude prices weakened 0.1 percent after ending almost flat on Monday from a slide of as much as 2.7 percent.

“The interim six-month ‘freeze’ agreement just reached on Iran’s nuclear program should not have any impact on oil prices, aside from short-term sentiment, because core sanctions on oil and banking have not been touched,” Societe Generale said in a note.

“We see a greater than 50 percent chance that a comprehensive agreement will be successfully reached within six months.

“If and when that happens, it could take Iran three to nine months to recover the one million barrels per day in production lost since 2011.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS advanced 0.3 percent, building on a 0.3 percent rise in the previous session and breaking above its 50-day moving average.

Tokyo’s Nikkei benchmark .N225 bucked the region and eased 0.4 percent on the back of the yen’s modest recovery. The benchmark climbed 1.5 percent on Monday to within sight of a 5-1/2 year peak reached in May.

Jakarta stocks .JKSE shed 1 percent, while the Indonesian rupiah dropped 0.4 percent to 11,785 to a dollar, its lowest since March 2009, with traders citing dollar demand for month-end debt payments and repatriation.


The Japanese currency, which typically falls when share prices rise, was up 0.2 percent at 101.495 yen to the dollar and up 0.1 percent at 137.31 to the euro, edging further away from a four-year trough of 137.98 touched on Monday.

Minutes of the Bank of Japan’s October 31 meeting showed some board members said they saw economic growth and prices at risk of declining, underscoring lingering pessimism within the board on the outlook for meeting its inflation target.

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar .DXY slipped 0.1 percent.

“We remain bullish on the dollar heading into 2014 but remain tactically cautious on establishing longs, with a number of U.S. dollar pairs already trading at the high end of their ranges and data unlikely to be consistent enough to support expectations for an early tapering,” analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a note.

Data showed on Monday that contracts to buy previously-owned U.S. homes fell for a fifth straight month in October, hitting a 10-month low and adding to signs of cooling in the housing market.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight, with the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI posting a slim gain to end at another record high, while the S&P 500 .SPX eased 0.1 percent. S&P 500 E-mini futures edged up 0.1 percent in Asian trade.