Asian stocks rise with oil near 15-month high, Samsung tumbles

A pedestrian walks past an electronic display showing the closing figure of the Hang Seng Index outside the Hang Seng Bank Ltd. headquarters in Hong Kong.
A pedestrian walks past an electronic display showing the closing figure of the Hang Seng Index outside the Hang Seng Bank Ltd. headquarters in Hong Kong.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WELLINGTON/TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Asian stocks rose on Tuesday (Oct 11), led higher by energy shares, as the prospect of a deal to limit crude output and tackle the global glut kept oil above US$51 a barrel.

Japan's Topix index jumped to a four-month high, buoyed by the yen's losses in the equity benchmark's first day of trading this week. Samsung Electronics Co drove declines in South Korea, sliding the most in a month after telling retail partners to stop sales and exchanges of its beleaguered Galaxy Note7 smartphone.

The dollar-denominated MSCI Asia Pacific Index, which counts Samsung as its third-biggest member, rose less than 0.1 per cent as of 9:28am. Tokyo time, as three times the number of shares advanced as retreated.

The Topix gained 0.6 per cent from Friday levels, rising for the fifth time in six days, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 0.3 per cent, led higher by energy producers and mining stocks.

The Kospi index was little changed in Seoul as Samsung slipped as much as 5 per cent.

Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 0.25 per cent at 2,863.15 as of 9:46am.

Optimism over a deal to address the global surplus in crude has bolstered sentiment in markets at a key juncture, given investor angst over the looming US presidential election and the potential for a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase before the year is out. Ministers from some of the world's largest oil-producing nations are gathering in Turkey to discuss ways of dealing with the glut, after provisionally agreeing to freeze output last month. Russia indicated on Monday it is willing to join Opec efforts to stabilize the market, while the Saudi energy minister said he's "optimistic" producers will be able to realize a deal.

"The fact that Russia has shown willingness to cooperate with Opec is a tailwind for oil prices going forward," said Toshihiko Matsuno, a senior strategist at SMBC Friend Securities Co in Tokyo. "In the short term, it's positive for oil and mining shares, and it's also improved market sentiment."

The yen, which typically moves at odds with Japanese stocks, dropped 0.3 perc ent to 103.95 per dollar, weakening for the 10th time in 11 sessions.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the greenback against 10 major peers, rose for a second day, gaining 0.1 percent as the Kiwi, Thai baht, Australian dollar and Korean won all lost at least 0.2 per cent.

The offshore yuan also weakened, slipping for an eighth straight day in its longest retreat since 2014. The currency was down 0.1 per cent to 6.7214 a dollar in Hong Kong, touching its weakest level since Jan. 7. The onshore-traded yuan tumbled the most in four months last session as mainland Chinese markets resumed following a week-long holiday.

The Malaysian ringgit, which is sensitive to moves in the oil price, gained 0.2 per cent.

Mexico's peso held gains near its strongest level in a month after surging almost 2 per cent last session on speculation Republican Party candidate Donald Trump's performance in the second US presidential debate wasn't strong enough to boost his chances against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"With Secretary Clinton taking the upper hand at the debate, negative factors have been scaled back a little for the markets," Matsuno at SMBC Friend Securities said.