Crude oil rallied above $100 a barrel for the first time since September on concern political turmoil in Egypt will threaten supplies from the region. Asian stocks snapped a five-day advance as the yen slipped to the weakest level in more than a month.
West Texas Intermediate Crude jumped a third day, surging 0.8 percent to $100.40 a barrel by 9:38 a.m. in Tokyo, set to close at a 14-month high. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of regional equities fell 0.4 percent, ending the longest run of gains since the end of April, as shares in Australia sank and Japanese stocks erased gains. The yen weakened a fifth day after breaching the 100 per dollar mark for the first time in a month. the South Korean won lost 0.4 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures were little changed after the measure closed 0.1 percent lower in New York. Silver rose the first day this week, while zinc, aluminum and tin declined.
Egypt’s military has given President Mohamed Mursi 48 hours to find a solution to the country’s political impasse, following mounting nationwide protests against his rule. Speculation U.S. stockpiles shrank last week also supported crude gains. Investors are looking to data on U.S. jobless claims and payrolls due today and July 5 to gauge the health of the world’s largest economy and prospects of the Federal Reserve tapering asset purchases that have fueled equity gains.
“Geopolitical risk in Egypt is stoking some demand from those who want to increase stockpiles just in case of a disruption in oil supplies,” Leo Baek, a trader at KEB Futures (HIA) Co. in Seoul, said by phone. “Improving U.S. data is also adding fuel to demand for energy and some base metals as well.”
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