SINGAPORE - Asian stocks climbed as a deal by Opec to reduce output for the first time in eight years boosted global energy shares, while US economy showed signs of strength.
The Straits Times Index was nearly 20 points high at open as shares in marine sector firms were bouyed on the news of the oil deal sent US crude to just below US$50 a barrel. STI was 0.57 per cent, or 17.01 points, high at 2921.86 at 9.22 am local time. Shares of SempCorp Marine, Keppel Corp and Ezra gained.
Commodity stocks extended their global surge, driving gains in Australia and Japan.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5 per cent, snapping a three-day drop as New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed 0.3 per cent, while the Kospi in Seoul was little changed.
Japan's benchmark Topix index extended gains to near its highest level since January as of 9:46 a.m. in Tokyo, after its best monthly performance since July.
The oil deal, which until Wednesday's meeting had looked to be in peril, brought an element of stability to financial markets whipsawed in November by Donald Trump's unexpected election as US president and the turnaround in sentiment amid his spending plans.
A slew of manufacturing purchasing managers' indexes are due Thursday, with China's official factory gauge coming in at 51.7, above the 51 reading expected by economists. Friday's US payrolls data is the next focal point, with the ADP Research Institute raising expectations with the biggest increase in workers since June, 46,000 more than was forecast.