Asian stocks close at record highs

Asian shares closed at historic highs on Monday following Wall Street’s climb to more than ten year high in the beginning of the year. As a result, investors’ appetite for risk increased.

MSCI’s largest index of Asia-Pacific shares out of Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 0.1 percent adding to its recent rise of 3.1 percent the previous week. The index’s score of 587.99 is just a hair away from its record high of 591.50 last seen on November of 2007. Australian stocks rose 0.3 percent to grab another ten year peak. South Korea .KS11 increased 0.1 percent. Nikkei .N225 of Japan was closed due to a local holiday but was able to hit its highest point since 1992 last week.

Oil prices rise on declining U.S. rig count

On Monday, oil prices were able to close higher. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 hit $61.61 after climbing by 0.3 percent. WTI is still near the $62.21 level – the highest since May of 2015. Brent crude futures LCOc1 closed at $67.74 per barrel, 0.2 percent above their last settlement. Brent reached $68.27 on the previous week, marking its highest since May of 2015.

According to traders, the gains in the oil market were the result of a mild decline in U.S. rig drilling which slipped by 5 to 742 on the week ending on January 5. In spite of the decline in rig drilling, U.S. production is predicted to surpass 10 million barrel per day, all thanks to the climbing output from shale drillers.

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