Asian indices rose on Thursday, with energy shares leading the way as crude oil prices jumped higher after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to pull out of a nuclear deal with Iran. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan went higher by 0.2 percent; Japan’s Nikkei climbed by 0.5 percent.
In the United States, overnight, the Dow gained 0.75 percent and the S&P 500 climbed nearly 1 percent, with the S&P energy index rallying 2 percent. Energy shares climbed as crude oil prices reached 3-1/2-year highs, with investors believing the U.S. withdrawal from a nuclear agreement with Iran would increase tensions in the Middle East and curtail oil supply.
Rising oil prices in turn pushed up U.S. Treasury yields by fanning inflation concerns. The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to a two-week high above the 3 percent threshold before pulling back a little to 2.996 percent.
Oil prices rose about 3 percent on Wednesday and hit a 3-1/2 year high after a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. oil inventories extended gains from the United States’ decision to quit the nuclear deal with Iran.
Ignoring pleas by allies, on Tuesday, U.S. President Trump pulled out of a 2015 international deal with Iran and announced the possibility of imposing the “highest level” of sanctions against the Tehran making investors nervous about rising risks of conflict in the Middle East and diminishing oil supplies.
Brent crude futures rose $2.36, or 3.2 percent, to settle at $77.21 a barrel. The global benchmark hit a session high of $77.43, the highest since November 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $2.08 to settle at $71.14 a barrel, recording a 3-percent gain. U.S. gasoline futures hit a high of $2.1701 a gallon, the highest since Hurricane Harvey sent prices surging in August.