Asian markets mostly rise as dollar gains

Published On: September 6, 2016 03:00 PM NPT By: Agence France-Presse

HONG KONG, Sept 6: Asian markets extended gains Tuesday on diminishing prospects of a US interest rate rise this month, while the dollar also gained against the yen after Japan's central bank chief pledged fresh stimulus if needed.

Traders remain upbeat after data Friday showed a healthy increase in US jobs creation -- indicating an improving economy -- but not a strong enough figure to justify an early increase in borrowing costs.

"Monetary policy is going to remain easy around the world and that will continue to be supportive of risk assets," James Woods, a strategist at Rivkin Securities in Sydney, told Bloomberg News.

"The non-farm payrolls last week indicate there's no rush for the Fed to raise rates."

The prospect of interest rates being kept low for the time being sent markets soaring Monday. After early profit-taking they built on those gains Tuesday.

Hong Kong added 0.6 percent while Shanghai also ended 0.6 percent higher and Seoul put on 0.3 percent. Singapore surged more than one percent in the afternoon while Taipei closed up one percent.

Tokyo rose 0.3 percent as exporters were supported by the weaker yen. The dollar rose to 103.61 yen from 103.38 yen late Monday.

Adding to yen weakness were comments from Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda, who repeated a pledge Monday of fresh stimulus if necessary and deflected talk of scaling back on its massive easing policy.

However, he gave few firm hints about the bank's plans when it holds a two-day meeting from September 20.

- Hanjin soars -
On oil markets both main contracts were up after a volatile session Monday, when investors were left disappointed by a lack of action from Russia and OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia on addressing a global supply glut.

Prices soared Monday as news broke that the two were about to make a statement on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China, with expectations they would announce a freeze.

But the commodity eased after they issued a vague comment on the "importance of constructive dialogue".

Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA, said in a note: "When the Saudi oil minister stated there is no explicit agreement and further commented that there is nothing decided on output, with nothing forthcoming, in typical buy the rumour, sell the fact fashion, oil prices plummeted."

In late Asian trade West Texas Intermediate was up 2.1 percent at $45.36 and Brent added 0.4 percent to $47.84. With US markets closed Monday for a holiday, electronic transactions on WTI will be booked with Tuesday's for settlement purposes.

In Seoul struggling Hanjin Shipping soared 30 percent after its parent said it would provide the debt-ridden unit with 100 billion won ($90.4 million) to ease huge disruptions to global sea freight.

Hanjin, the world's seventh largest shipping company, is seeking bankruptcy protection at home and in the US after creditors rejected its latest plan to deal with a $5.37 billion debt.

The rally came a day after the stock plunged almost 14 percent.

In early European trade London added 0.1 percent, while Frankfurt and Paris each rose 0.3 percent.

- Key figures around 0800 GMT -
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 17,081.98 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 3,090.71 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 23,787.68 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 6,885.70

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3316 from $1.3311 late Monday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1150 from $1.1147

Dollar/yen: UP at 103.61 yen from 103.38 yen

New York - DOW: Closed for a public holiday

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