Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Oil up on Mideast tension, stocks weighted by trade remarks

Oil up on Mideast tension, stocks weighted by trade remarks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A destroyed installation in Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant is pictured, on Friday. AFP

Oil up on Mideast tension, stocks weighted by trade remarks

Oil prices rallied on Monday after Iran warned the presence of US forces in the Gulf was causing instability in the region, while equities were mixed as US President Donald Trump said he did not want a partial trade deal with China.

While a loosening of monetary policy by central banks is providing support to investors, they remain on edge following last week’s attack on Saudi oil facilities that was claimed by Huthi rebels in Yemen but blamed by the US on Iran.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday hit out at a US move to increase troop numbers in Saudi Arabia, saying: “Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region.”

He called on outside powers to “stay away” and added Tehran would present a peace plan to the UN within days.

Investors are concerned about a possible conflict in the oil-rich Middle East after last week’s attacks – which hammered Saudi Arabia’s biggest crude plant – though both sides have said they do not want a war.

The US has ramped up sanctions on Tehran, targeting its central bank.

Both main oil contracts saw prices rise more than one per cent on Monday and traders are keeping tabs on Riyadh’s progress in repairing the facilities.

“You can never say never, but with an Iranian delegation apparently due to attend the UN session opening week in New York, it is hard to imagine too many fireworks in the gulf this week,” said Oanda senior markets analyst Jeffrey Halley.

Equity markets were struggling for traction with investors tracking comments from Trump saying he wanted to strike a full trade deal with Beijing, knocking hopes for a piecemeal agreement between the economic superpowers.

“I’m not looking for a partial deal. I’m looking for a complete deal,” he told reporters at the White House.

He added that he did not see the need for an agreement before the 2020 presidential election.

The remarks tempered recent optimism on the talks, though they came as China hailed progress in preparatory discussions ahead of a planned high-level meeting next month.

“The hot and then cold and then hot and cold again US-China trade vibes continue to rattle markets,” said Rodrigo Catril at National Australia Bank.

“Hopes of a potential interim trade deal had boosted sentiment ahead of last week’s China’s trade delegation visit to the US, but in the end it seems that the inability to find common ground in key contentious issues such as intellectual property rights resulted yet again in an increase in tensions.”

Hong Kong fell 0.8 per cent with China’s Fosun International losing 1.5 per cent after British travel giant Thomas Cook – in which it is the top shareholder – collapsed. The 178-year-old firm went under after failing to secure £200 million ($250 million) from private investors to keep it afloat.

Shanghai shed one per cent, while Singapore dropped 0.3 per cent, with Taipei, Manila and Bangkok also lower, though there were gains in Seoul, Sydney, Wellington and Jakarta. Tokyo was closed for a holiday. The Cambodia Securities Exchange index gained 1.62 per cent.

Mumbai rallied 3.3 per cent, extending last week’s surge of more than five per cent that was fuelled by the government’s decision to slash corporation tax by almost a third.

In early trade London dipped 0.1 per cent, Frankfurt fell 0.7 per cent and Paris dropped one per cent.

On foreign exchanges the pound sank at the start of a crucial week for Britain with the Supreme Court to decide whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted legally in suspending parliament for an extended period as he pushes for Brexit on October 31.

“A decision against the government could prompt a significant amount of sterling volatility, as investors weigh up what any government response might be,” said CMC Markets UK chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a