Oil rallied from a one-week low and natural gas climbed a second day as forecasts for frigid weather in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest bolstered the outlook for energy demand. Asian stocks rose while Thailand’s baht retreated after two people died in a blast at a Bangkok protest site.
West Texas Intermediate crude snapped a two-day drop, adding 0.4 percent to $102.62 a barrel by 9:55 a.m. in Tokyo as gas futures rose a second day, gaining 4.9 percent. The baht lost 0.4 percent while the South Korean won touched a 2 1/2-week low against the dollar. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent as Japanese shares reversed losses. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures added 0.1 percent after the gauge’s first weekly drop this month. Australian (GACGB10) 10-year bonds climbed.
China releases property-price data today, after the central bank governor said Asia’s largest economy can sustain growth of 7 percent to 8 percent and the finance minister played down risks from shadow banking and a weaker yuan. Germany’s Ifo institute business climate index is forecast to decline from a more than two-year high. Arctic air will return to the U.S. Northeast and Midwest this week, Accuweather Inc. says, with distillate inventories at the lowest level since November.