Asia markets set to benefit from global data; yen eases

SYDNEY Tue Sep 3, 2013 12:30am BST

1 of 10. A worker cleans a desk at the bourse at Tokyo Stock Exchange June 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian markets look set for a second day of gains on Tuesday after a string of upbeat factory data around the globe boosted shares and most commodities, while a delay in a potential U.S. strike on Syria weighed on safe-havens such as gold and the yen.

While Wall Street was closed for the Labor Day holiday, U.S. stock futures posted solid gains with the S&P 500 contract up 0.9 percent. Broad gains across European bourses lifted MSCI's world equity index 0.6 percent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.2 percent on Monday, and looked likely to notch up a fourth day of gains on Tuesday.

The dollar climbed to a one-month peak against the yen at 99.43, while gold eased to $1,391 (894.59 pounds) an ounce as investors rediscovered an appetite for risk.

Prospects for the global economy brightened considerably according to a fresh round of purchasing managers' surveys for August.

Factory activity in the euro zone rose at its fastest pace in more than two years, and even manufacturing in struggling Spain grew for the first time since April 2011.

The UK's version of the survey far outstripped expectations and sent sterling up to $1.5541 as the market brought forward the likely timing of the first rate hike there.

The euro climbed around 1 percent against the yen to reach 131.21 yen, well away from last week's trough of 129.31. But it lost ground to the dollar at $1.3195.

All of which reinforced the impact of China's PMI which has showed activity in the country's vast manufacturing sector was at its highest in more than a year.

That buoyed industrial commodities with copper prices rebounding 1.9 percent to $7,238 a tonne and ending a four-day losing streak.

Markets were also unwinding much of last week's safe-haven trades as worries about an imminent military strike against Syria eased after U.S. President Barack Obama decided to seek congressional approval.

U.S. crude oil prices slipped 83 cents to $106.84 a barrel, though Brent fared better.

(Editing by Mark Bendeich)

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