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Stocks in Asia mostly higher; US dollar declines

[SYDNEY] Most Asian stocks headed higher on Tuesday as Japan and South Korea reopened, while Treasury yields were steady as trading recommenced after holidays. The US dollar declined and Turkey's lira maintained losses after a shock drop on Monday that stood out in global markets.

The Kospi index in Seoul jumped in a catch-up rally after a week-long holiday. Tokyo shares fluctuated following a muted start to the week that saw the S&P 500 Index slip in light trading on Monday with many market closures, including in Japan, and as investors assessed political developments in Washington before the start of earnings season and the release of minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting.

The US dollar snapped a winning streak as it fell against major peers and Turkey's lira held on to losses amid tensions with the US.

In Washington, a top Republican senator sparred verbally with President Donald Trump, raising some concern that planned tax reform may be stalled. Global stocks are trading near a record high and Treasury yields have climbed off the September lows as traders bet the Fed will lift rates in December. Asian equities have beaten their US counterparts this year, and still trade at the biggest discount to American shares in 15 years.

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Market voices on:

Spanish assets will be in focus again on Tuesday. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont will make a declaration of gradual independence when he addresses his parliament Tuesday, Efe reported, without citing anyone. The announcement will include a constituent process without a regional assembly vote and will call on negotiations with Madrid.

What's coming up this week:

Japan balance of payments data is due Tuesday, followed by a read on Australian business confidence.

Minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting are due Wednesday.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank hold their annual fall meetings this week.

Earnings season begins for major US banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co. Also reporting will be BlackRock Inc, Domino's Pizza Inc, Samsung Electronics Co, German container company Gerresheimer AG, UK grocery wholesaler Booker Group Plc, and Sky Plc.

The active Atlantic hurricane season will probably figure prominently in US data on retail sales and consumer prices.

STOCKS

Japan's Topix index swung between gains and losses as of 10.51am Tokyo time. The Kospi climbed 1.9 per cent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index was flat.

Hang Seng Index was little changed with the Shanghai Composite Index.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed. The underlying gauge fell 0.2 per cent for its first back-to-back losses since September.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4 per cent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index lost 0.2 per cent, heading lower for a third day.

The yen was little changed at 112.65 per US dollar. The euro rose 0.3 per cent to US$1.1779.

The Turkish lira was little changed after tumbling on Monday.

BONDS

Yields on 10-year Treasuries were steady at 2.36 per cent.

Yields on Australian 10-year bonds rose one basis point to 2.83 per cent.

Spain's 10-year yield dipped three basis points to 1.68 per cent on Monday, when Germany's 10-year yield fell two basis points to 0.44 per cent.

COMMODITIES

West Texas Intermediate crude was slightly higher at US$49.68 a barrel. It rose 0.6 per cent on Monday.

Gold futures added 0.3 per cent to US$1,288.05 an ounce after advancing 0.6 per cent in the previous session.

BLOOMBERG

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