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Asia: Shares ride US, European gains, US dollar hovers near 7-week high


[SINGAPORE] Asian shares rose on Tuesday, thanks to strength in Europe and the United States as oil's longest stretch of daily price gains in over five years lifted energy shares, while markets in Seoul were briefly shaken by a missile launched by North Korea.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3 per cent.

Japan's Nikkei was up 0.4 per cent, and South Korea's Kospi was 0.1 per cent lower.

The Kospi earlier dropped as much as 0.4 per cent and the South Korean won stumbled 0.3 per cent after reports North Korea had launched an missile that could land in Japanese exclusive economic zone. South Korean President Moon Jae-in called a meeting of the National Security Council in response.

The South Korean currency was last down 0.1 per cent at 1,148.1 won to the US dollar at 0210 GMT.

Australian shares advanced 1.65 per cent, bouncing solidly from a 2.3 per cent loss over the previous two sessions. "Synchronised gains for both US markets and the US dollar was seen overnight with optimism channelled to the markets at the start of the week," Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore, wrote in a note.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted gains of 0.2 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively, led by financials and energy shares. The Nasdaq lost 0.5 per cent, as the rotation away from technology names continued.

An error in Nasdaq's computer systems caused some third-party providers to incorrectly show large after-hours swings for the prices of Amazon Inc, Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc shares. Google parent Alphabet Inc and eBay Inc shares were among others that all appeared to be priced at US$123.47 on some financial news websites on Monday evening.

The actual prices of the stocks were not affected and no trades were completed at that price, a Nasdaq spokesman confirmed.

US markets are closed on Tuesday for the independence day holiday.

European markets posted even stronger gains, with the FTSEurofirst 300 jumping as much as 1.2 per cent following steep losses last week.

In currency markets, the US dollar crept down 0.2 per cent to 113.275 yen on Tuesday, but remained within a hair of a seven-week high of 113.47 touched on Monday.

The US dollar jumped after a private index of June domestic manufacturing activity rose more than expected while other data showed government outlays on construction projects in May at their highest in more than four years.

That sent two-year US Treasury yields surging to their highest level since November 2008. "Expectations towards the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates later this year had perhaps sunk too low," said Shin Kadota, a senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo. "We are now seeing such lowered expectations being reversed a little." The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of trade-weighted peers, was down almost 0.1 per cent at 96.146, holding on to most of Monday's 0.6 per cent gain.

The Australian dollar climbed 0.1 per cent to US$0.7666 ahead of a Reserve Bank of Australia meeting at which the central bank is expected to leave benchmark interest rates unchanged at a record low 1.5 per cent.

The euro was little changed at US$1.1366 on Tuesday.

Sterling inched higher to US$1.294, but failed to make up most of Monday's 0.7 per cent loss after poorer-than-expected data from Britain's manufacturing sector.

Crude futures posted their first session of losses in nine, ending their longest run of gains since February 2012, as traders closed positions ahead of the US holiday.

US crude slipped 0.5 per cent to US$46.82 a barrel.

Global benchmark Brent also fell 0.5 per cent to US$49.41. On Monday, it closed up 3.7 per cent, its biggest one-day gain since December 2016. Gold inched up from its lowest level in more than seven weeks hit on Monday on the US dollar's strength. Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at US$1,222.21 an ounce on Tuesday.


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