A woman walks in strong wind caused by Typhoon Lan, past an electronic board showing the graphs of the recent movements of Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato A woman walks in strong wind caused by Typhoon Lan, past an electronic board showing the graphs of the recent movements of Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Asian shares hit record high, euro near three-year top

Tue, Jan. 16, 2018
TOKYO- 16 January 2018: Asian shares erased early modest losses and pushed to a fresh record high, while the euro remained within sight of a 3-year peak on rising expectations that the European Central Bank could pare its monetary stimulus.

European stock futures STXEc1 were flat, suggesting a more subdued opening for the region. DAX futures FDXc1 were up 0.1 percent, and FTSE futures FFIc1 and CAC FCEc1 each up 0.2 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.5 percent, extending record highs set in the previous session.

U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday on Monday.

But Australian shares slipped 0.5 percent, as miners were pressured by weaker Chinese iron ore prices. The materials and mining index .AXMM dropped as much as 0.8 percent, with mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP.AX) and Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) each falling over 1 percent before ending off lows.

Chinese iron ore futures edged up after tumbling 2 percent on Monday, when stockpiles of the steelmaking commodity at China’s ports surged to the highest since at least 2004. [IRONORE/]

Japan's Nikkei stock index .N225 rallied 1 percent after touching its highest intraday level since November 1991 as the yen's recent surge took a breather, with expectations for strong corporate earnings underpinning sentiment.

“The yen’s appreciation against the dollar has stopped and this brightened sentiment, along with expectations for robust company quarterly results,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

The euro edged up slightly to $1.2270 EUR=, within sight of its Monday high of $1.2296, its loftiest peak since December 2014.

The euro had blipped higher on Monday and German benchmark bond yields hit session highs after European Central Bank rate-setter Ardo Hansson said the central bank could end its bond purchase scheme in one go after September if the economy and inflation develop as expected.

Adding to the euro’s ascent, data showed the trade surplus in the 19-country euro area rose to its highest level in eight months, indicating companies were so far weathering the impact of a stronger currency.

The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, wallowed at more than three-year lows. It was last at 90.456 .DXY, after dropping as low as 90.279 on Monday, its deepest nadir since December 2014.
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