Asian shares up after record highs on Wall Street

Tokyo: Asian shares rose on Tuesday, tracking record closes on Wall Street and upbeat economic data that lifted U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar, although weaker oil prices took their toll on some market segments.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.4 percent higher, clawing back losses from earlier in the Asian day.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index added 0.8 percent, as a tailwind from a weaker yen helped it sail to its highest levels since August 2015.

Australian shares slipped 0.4 percent, pressured by consumer and energy shares, as investors awaited the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) policy decision at 0330 GMT. The energy index skidded 1 percent in line with weaker crude prices.

The central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold at a record low of 1.5 percent with the focus on its assessment of the economy and how that could impact is monetary policy.

Crude oil futures extended losses after tumbling on Monday, as a rise in U.S. drilling and higher OPEC output put the brakes on their recent rally and rekindled concerns about oversupply.

Brent crude slipped 0.4 percent to $55.88 a barrel, after marking a third-quarter gain of about 20 percent. U.S. crude fell 0.3 percent to $50.42.

On Wall Street on Monday, U.S. stocks started the fourth quarter on a strong note, with all three major indexes closing at record highs after data underscored strength in the economy.

A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity surged to a near 13-1/2-year high in September. Disruptions to the supply chains caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma resulted in factories taking longer to deliver goods and boosted raw material prices.

The Institute for Supply Management index rose to 60.8 in September, from 58.8 in August, exceeding expectations for a reading of 58.

U.S. construction spending also rebounded in August after two straight months of declines, boosted by increases in both private and public outlays.

The dollar stood tall, hoisted by rising U.S. Treasury yields. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note hit its highest since mid-July on Monday after the upbeat data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will increase U.S. interest rates in December for a third time this year.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, added 0.3 percent to 93.840, nudging up to its highest levels since late August.

The euro eased 0.2 percent to $1.1710, facing pressure from Spain’s biggest constitutional crisis in decades, after Sunday’s violence-marred independence referendum in Catalonia opened the door for its wealthiest region to move for secession as early as this week.

The dollar added 0.3 percent against its Japanese counterpart to 113.08 yen, within sight of last week’s two-month high of 113.26 yen.

Proposed U.S. tax code changes as well as the possibility that U.S. President Donald Trump will appoint a more hawkish Fed Chair also gave the dollar a lift.

Spot gold edged down slightly to $1,270.29 per ounce, after plumbing its lowest in nearly seven weeks on Monday as the dollar rose.

Must Read