Stocks bounce


    SYDNEY- Asian shares rebounded on Tuesday as a day passed without any new escalation in the Middle East and Wall Street erased early losses to end in the black as tech stocks climbed.

    Oil surrendered hefty gains as some speculated Iran would be unlikely to strike against the United States in a way that would disrupt supplies, and its own crude exports.

    Brent crude futures fell 54 cents to $68.37 a barrel, having been as high as $70.74 on Monday, while US crude dropped 44 cents to $62.83.

    Gold also retreated to $1,557.54 an ounce, after scaling a near seven-year peak of $1,579.72 overnight.

    Equities went the other way as MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.6 percent, recouping almost all of Monday’s losses.

    Japan’s Nikkei rallied 1.3 percent and Shanghai blue chips advanced 0.5 percent. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 firmed 0.1 percent, while EUROSTOXX 50 futures rose 0.4 percent.

    Shares had fallen sharply on Monday as Iran and the United States traded threats after an US air strike killed a top Iranian commander.

    The mood calmed a little as the session passed with no new aggression.

    Instead there was much confusion when the US, military wrote to Iraq on Monday saying it would pull out of the country, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

    Yet US Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Pentagon reporters that no decision had been made and the military said the letter was only a poorly worded draft.

    Wall Street chose to hope for the best and the Dow rose 0.24 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.35 percent and the Nasdaq 0.56 percent.

    Surveys of service sectors out overnight showed an improvement in the United States, UK and EU, stirring speculation the closely-watched ISM measure of US services due later Tuesday will also show strength.

    “We think the longest US expansion on record still has plenty of legs,” said Tom Porcelli, chief US economist at RBC Capital Markets. “To be sure, Iran adds an additional layer of complexity.” – Reuters