By Ese Erheriene and Kosaku Narioka
Australian stocks hit one-month high
Asian shares were broadly higher on Tuesday, with the Australian market rising to a one-month high, as oil prices rallied on expectations that key oil-producing countries will agree to a deal to slash production.
The S&P/ASX 200 closed up 1.2% at 5,413.30 points, its highest level since late October. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was last up 1.5%, and Korea's Kospi added 0.9%.
In China, stocks in Shanghai closed at their highest level since Jan. 6, in line with the region's strength. The move came after the nation's central bank fixed the yuan reference level higher Tuesday,ending 12 straight sessions of devaluation. The benchmark Shanghai Composite rose 0.9%.
Elsewhere, Japanese stocks were initially down slightly, following a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the eastern coast of Japan early Tuesday, though the impact appeared limited and the Nikkei Stock Average later reversed to gains, and ended up 0.3%.
Oil output hopes
Oil prices have risen to a three-week high as investors stuck to bets that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will reach a production deal at its meeting on Nov. 30. Brent, the global crude-oil benchmark , was recently up 1.2% at $49.47 a barrel.
"Reports of the OPEC technical committee making progress in the first of their two-day meeting raised hopes of an output agreement," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Markets, in a note.
Markets in the region that are more dependent on oil production outperformed, including Australia and Singapore -- home to many companies that serve the oil-and-gas industry. The FTSE Straits Times Index was last up 0.4%.
Among energy stocks in Australia, Oil Search (OSH.AU) ended up 2.2%, Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AU) added 2.4% and Santos Ltd. (SSLTY) rose 3.8%. Elsewhere, Japan Petroleum Exploration (1662.TO) gained 2.5% and Hong Kong-listed Cnooc (0883.HK) jumped 5.2%.
Hopes over U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's fiscal stimulus plans led stocks to gain globally amid expectations of looser regulation and higher interest rates.
Yet market participants will likely become more cautious as investors focus on some of the more protectionist aspects of Trump's policies, said Tomoichiro Kubota, senior market analyst at Matsui Securities. "So far the market [has] only focused on the positives," he said.
Trump said Monday he would issue an executive order on the first day (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/donald-trump-vows-to-withdraw-from-tpp-on-day-one-2016-11-21) of his presidency notifying 11 other countries that the U.S. was pulling out of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.
However, markets in Asia largely shrugged off Trump's comments for now. Smaller exporting nations, like South Korea and Singapore, were expected to benefit most from the TPP deal, but traded positively Tuesday.
"TPP isn't yet fully functional, so if the U.S. is backing out now, we have other trade deals available," said Hao Hong, chief strategist and co-head of research at Bocom International. "In the near term, the market tends to overlook this kind of longer-term stuff."
Meanwhile, the Philippine share market was the region's worst-performing market, with the benchmark PSEi down 2.5%. The PSEi is off 6.4% since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, given the country's unique issues.
Trump has vowed to restrict immigration, specifically the use of the so-called H-1B visas that allow U.S. employers to hire specialized offshore talent, such as Filipino nurses. This could hurt the flow of remittances to the Philippines, a pillar of the country's economy.
"The Philippines benefited the most in Asia from globalization because of its very movable, English-speaking workforce," said Mark Matthews, head of research Asia at Julius Baer. "After Trump was elected, the idea was that there would be less globalization."
Looking ahead, the market will be watching for home-sales data out of the U.S., as the case for a rise in local interest rates builds. According to CME Group's FedWatch tool, the probability of a rate increase at the Federal Reserve's meeting next month is above 95%.
-- Yifan Xie and Jasper Moiseiwitsch contributed to this article.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 22, 2016 04:49 ET (09:49 GMT)
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