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Asian energy stocks jumped on Friday following a US missile attack on a Syrian airfield as the price of oil hit a four-week high.
International benchmark Brent Crude surged above $56 a barrel for the first time since March 7 before paring to be up 1.5 per cent at $55.72 a barrel. The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, jumped above $52 a barrel for the first time since March 8. It is up 1.7 per cent at $52.57 a barrel.
In Hong Kong, PetroChina jumped as much as 3 per cent paring slightly to be up 2.8 per cent at HK$5.81 a share, while Sinopec climbed as much as 1.7 per cent falling back to be up 1.6 per cent at the lunch break at HK$6.56 a share. The energy sector was the single gainer on the Hang Seng index, up 1.66 per cent against a 0.6 per cent fall for the index.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 saw a similar reaction with the energy sector rosing 1.8 per cent while the wider index fell 0.2 per cent. Caltex Australia rose 2 per cent with Origin Energy gained 2.5 per cent and Santos jumped 2.7 per cent.
Japanese stocks bounced back from a dip following the strike on Syria as the yen pulled back from a four-month high. The Topix index was up 0.9 per cent with the energy sector posting the highest gains. Inpex corporation surged 4.8 per cent with Japan Petroleum Exploartion up 4.5 per cent.