The U.S. dollar won a reprieve from risk aversion on Monday after North Korean Kim Jong Un held a party over the weekend rather than launch another missile, tempering safe havens such as the yen and Treasuries.
In commodity markets, gold softened 0.7 per cent to 1,337.81 dollars an ounce and away from a one-year peak of 1,357.54 dollars.
Oil prices regained ground after the Saudi oil minister discussed the possible extension of a pact to cut global oil supplies beyond March 2018 with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts.
U.S. crude was trading 36 cents firmer at 47.84 dollars a barrel, while Brent rose 22 cents to 56.00 dollars.
The news of the talks on Sunday helped offset the downward pressure on oil prices amid worries that energy demand would be hit hard by Hurricane Irma.
Investors remained cautious over the possible economic impact of Hurricane Irma as it chewed its way up the Florida coast, knocking out electricity to three million homes and businesses statewide.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.4 per cent after Pyongyang held a massive celebration to congratulate the nuclear scientists and technicians who steered the country’s sixth and largest nuclear test a week earlier.
The U.S. and its allies had been bracing for another long-range missile launch to mark for the 69th anniversary of North Korea’s founding on Saturday.
The sense of relief from North Korea was enough to lift E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 by 0.5 per cent, while yields on 10-year treasury notes rose three basis points to 2.09 per cent.
South Korea’s main index added 0.8 per cent, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.4 per cent.
The U.S. dollar hovered at 108.42 yen, up from Friday’s 10-month trough of 107.32.
Against a basket of currencies, the dollar added 0.15 per cent to 91.490, but that was still uncomfortably close to last week’s 2-1/2 year low of 91.011.
The euro eased to 1.2017 dollars, having hit a top of 1.2092 dollars on Friday amid speculation the European Central Bank was closer to starting a wind-back of its stimulus programme.
ECB officials last week generally agreed their next move would be to cut their bond purchases and discussed a range of options, Media reported.
China’s central bank was also a focus in Asia after sources said it plans to scrap reserve requirements for financial institutions settling foreign exchange forward yuan positions with effect from Monday.
“The removal potentially makes it easier for traders to purchase the USD, easing the pressure for yuan appreciation,” said analysts at ANZ in a note. (NAN)
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