Asian stocks poised for steady open, with oil off recent multi-year highs


Asian shares looked set for a steady open on Monday after spending last week focused on oil market moves amid concerns over Iranian oil exports.

U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Friday amid gains seen in energy shares on the back of higher oil prices. That had followed President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.37 percent, or 91.64 points, to close at 24,831.17, the S&P 500 tacked on 0.17 percent to 2,727.72 and the Nasdaq composite shed 0.03 percent to end at 7,402.88.

That capped off a strong week, which saw the Dow rise 2.3 percent — its biggest weekly gain since March. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced 2.4 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

Oil prices settled lower on Friday, but were still relatively close to more than three-year highs touched recently. Brent crude futures slipped 35 cents to $77.12 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate shed 66 cents to settle at $70.70.

Meanwhile, trade is likely to come back into focus after Trump said in a Sunday tweet that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast.”

The U.S. government had imposed a ban on U.S. companies from supplying ZTE with technology after the Chinese company was found to have illegally shipped equipment to Iran.

Over in Asia, futures pointed to a quiet start to the trading day on Monday. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were little changed compared to Friday’s close, last off by 0.06 percent at 22,745. Australian SPI futures were up 0.07 percent at the end of the last session.

On the corporate front, full-year earnings from Nissan Motor, Pioneer and Takeda Pharmaceutical are expected later in the day.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, last stood at 92.540, after trading as high as the 93.4 handle last week. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 109.36 at 7:01 a.m. HK/SIN.

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.


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