GLOBAL MARKETS-Iran deal sends oil lower, lifts shares and dollar

Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:44am EST

* Oil dips on historic Iran nuclear deal

* World shares gain, Wall St poised to set fresh records

* Yen drops to six-month low vs dollar as Nikkei surges

* Disinflation pressures lift German bond yields

By Richard Hubbard

LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The historic deal to curb Iran's nuclear program prompted a dip in oil prices on Monday and buoyed world shares as investors priced in an easing in political tensions and the lift it may give to global economic growth.

Negotiated by six world powers and Iran over the weekend, the deal halts Iran's most sensitive nuclear activities and gives it some relief from crippling sanctions, but does not allow the OPEC member to increase oil sales for six months.

Despite tough work ahead to transform the agreement into a permanent solution, it was enough to ease oil supply fears and send Brent crude down $2.15 at $108.90 in European trade after it had earlier slid $3 to hit a low of $108.05.

"What prices are mostly reflecting is a lack of geopolitical risk premium," said Barclays oil analyst Miswin Mahesh.

"We would have expected a $3 to $4 a barrel move. We did not get that because... you're not seeing additional barrels coming into the market," he said.

The easing of Middle East tensions after the agreement did look set to lift Wall St shares when trading opens, where the S&P 500 and Dow indexes are sitting at record highs after posting a seventh straight week of gains on Friday.

"It's positive news, its clearly boosting equity markets today and in a broader sense its reflationary for the global economy," said Mike Ingram, market commentator at BGC Partners.

European shares rose by 0.5 percent in the wake of the agreement, extending last week's solid gains and edging closer to their five-year high highs. Germany's DAX rose 0.9 percent to a record high.

However, uncertainty over the region's economic outlook was keeping liquidity levels low, with volumes likely to suffer further this week due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and as the end of the month approaches.

MSCI's world equity index, tracking shares in 45 countries, gained 0.2 percent reflecting the firmer tone in Europe and earlier gains across Asian share markets after the Iran deal emerged.

In emerging markets, the deal gave a big boost to Turkish stocks, which jumped 1.6 percent, though political tensions weighed on Thai and Ukrainian assets, and the dip in oil prices pushed the Russian rouble lower.

In Japan, a major oil importer, shares got an extra boost from a weaker yen to surge by 1.5 percent and have now gained almost 11 percent in little more than two weeks.

The Japanese currency, which typically falls when share prices rise, had touched a sixth-month low of 101.895 yen to the dollar on Monday as investors sold the currency to buy higher-yielding assets elsewhere.

The fall in oil prices weighed on most commodity-linked currencies, with the Canadian dollar dropping to a 4 1/2-month low of C$1.0584. Against an index of six major currencies, the dollar was 0.2 percent higher.

DEFLATION SPECTER

In fixed income markets Iran's deal was fueling concerns about disinflationary pressures which have been building in the euro zone and earlier this month led to a surprise rate cut by the European Central Bank.

ECB Governing Council member Ardo Hansson stirred the talk further on Monday when he was quoted saying the options on rate cuts were "still not fully exhausted" and the bank could move by less than the usual 25 basis points.

His French colleague Christian Noyer said earlier that interest rates have to remain low for an extended period and might go even lower if needed as officials try to ensure the euro zone does not fall into deflation.

The comments sent German 10-year Bund yields down 0.2 basis points to 1.73 percent, even as equity prices gained and markets prepared for a sale of up to 4 billion euros of 10-year German debt on Wednesday.

COMMODITIES SINK

In the commodity markets, prices moved lower to reflect the greater attraction of equities and the dollar's strength. Gold slid by around 1 percent to be near $1,231 an ounce and close to its lowest level since early July.

Bullion was also being weighed down by fears of an early end to the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus measures, and as holdings in the biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund suffered their biggest drop in three weeks.

Copper had slipped 0.2 percent to $7,084 a tonne though this followed a rise of 1.2 percent last week, its biggest weekly gain in two months.

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