Nikkei 225 Rises With Metals as Bond Risk Drops on Greece

(Bloomberg) — Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average extended a 15-year high while metals climbed and bond risk declined as investors await progress on Greece’s bailout extension agreed Feb. 20. Oil fluctuated in New York.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.6 percent by 1:38 p.m. in Tokyo, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed. Chinese oil companies dropped in Hong Kong after a break during which oil in New York slipped more than 4 percent. The cost of insuring Asian debt against default was at a two-month low. The euro was little changed, while gold traded at $ 1,203.94 an ounce.

More from Bloomberg.com: Shell-Oil Union Talks to Resume This Week Over Strike

The government in Athens has until the end of Monday to complete a list of policies in return for a four-month extension of bailout funds after talks concluded late on Feb. 20. German business confidence data are due while Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks to lawmakers later this week. Officials in Kiev said pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine’s east continued to attack troops, while a bomb killed two people at a rally in the city of Kharkiv.

“It looks like Greek debt negotiations will continue to hold sway over coming months with the four-month extension only granting a small window of reprieve.” Con Williams and Sam Tuck, analysts at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., wrote in a note today. “The continued geopolitical ructions with Russia over the Ukraine, as well as the unrest in the Middle East means there are many issues that will continue to hold sway in political discussions, distracting politicians from economic policy.”

More from Bloomberg.com: China Shares in Hong Kong Halt Five-Day Gain as Oil Shares Fall

Europe Currencies

The euro weakened as much as 0.2 percent before trading little changed at $ 1.1385. The U.K. pound slipped 0.1 percent to $ 1.5374 and the dollar gained 0.6 percent to 94.42 Swiss centimes. The Greek reform measures are still subject to validation by the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, the institutions collectively known as the troika which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed not to recognize.

Japan’s Topix index fluctuated near its highest close since December 2007. The broadest measure of equities soared 17 percent since Oct. 31, when the Bank of Japan pledged to triple its share purchases and the $ 1.1 trillion public pension fund doubled its allocation to local stocks. Smaller companies haven’t fared so well, with a gauge of startups adding 0.3 percent in the period.

More from Bloomberg.com: Yen at ‘Comfortable’ Level, BOJ Needn’t Act Now: Abe Adviser

Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest offshore oil producer, fell 2.6 percent and PetroChina Co., the country’s biggest oil company, retreated 1.8 percent in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng Index was little changed after rising for five straight days going into the Lunar New Year holiday. A gauge of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong fell 0.5 percent, with mainland markets not reopening until Wednesday.

Korea Reopens

South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.4 percent and the won slipped 0.8 percent as the country’s markets opened for the first time since Feb. 18. The won touched 1,111.45, the weakest since Feb. 12. Yields on the country’s three-year notes rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 2.08 percent, Korea Exchange prices show.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery traded 0.2 percent higher at $ 50.91 a barrel. U.S. oil stockpiles rose to a fresh record in the week through Feb. 13. That’s coinciding with calls by the United Steelworkers, which represents 30,000 U.S. oil workers, for four more plants to join the biggest strike since 1980 as talks dragged on with Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Oman Production

Oman, the biggest Middle Eastern oil producer that’s not a member of OPEC, is boosting crude output to as much as possible with the global price rout over, said Salim Al Aufi, undersecretary of the oil and gas ministry.

Norway’s krone retreated as much as 0.5 percent, tracking lower oil prices. Rising supply from the U.S. to Russia is contributing to a worldwide crude surplus that Oman estimates at 1 million barrels a day. Brent crude futures increased 0.3 percent to $ 60.40 a barrel after climbing 5 percent this year through Friday. The contract plunged 48 percent last year.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index climbed 0.3 percent after capping its first weekly decline since the five days through Jan. 30.

Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange gained 1 percent to $ 14,095 a metric ton after two weeks of retreat. Aluminum advanced 1 percent after ending last week at the lowest since Jan. 15.

Gold for immediate delivery fell for a fourth straight week through Friday, the longest such streak since September 2013. The net-long position in gold tumbled 18 percent to 110,164 futures and options contracts in the week ended Feb. 17, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Gentle in Hong Kong at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net John McCluskey

More from Bloomberg.com

  • Treasuries Cheap to Peers Raise Question Yellen Poised to Answer
  • Oil Holds Weekly Loss Near $ 60 as Libya Adds to Surplus
  • Gold Rises, Holds Above $ 1,200 Before Greece’s Deadline

Nikkei Futures

nikkeifutures.org@imediaone.com

You may also like...

Rules of Discussion on Nikkei 225 Rises With Metals as Bond Risk Drops on Greece

1. This forum is for discussion of financial markets. Please respect others view even if they are contrary to you.
2. Member's comments should lead to value addition in forum discussion.
3. If anyone is found making repetitive Explicit/Abusive/Racial comments, his account shall be banned and old posts will be deleted.
4. Providing Advice/Recommendations/Tips is fine but it should be free. Members cannot ask to be paid for it. Paid Advice is stricly prohibited
5. Spam links are not allowed. Self-promotion once a week is allowed. Too much promotion or using Contact info in ID will lead to account ban.