Economy

Asia shares gain as Irma weakens

Asia shares gain as Irma weakens”

Japan backed a US push for the United Nations Security Council to vote Monday on fresh sanctions against North Korea, saying that Kim Jong Un's nuclear program poses the most serious threat since World War II.

MSCI All Country World Index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks roughly 2,400 stocks in 47 countries, climbed a new peak as Europe's insurers jumped 2.2 percent .SXIP on hopes Irma would not prove as costly as feared. The Dollar is not out of the woods yet, with the upside coming more from a lack of action from North Korea than a shift in sentiment towards FED monetary policy, though that could all change this week should U.S inflation and retail sales figures impress.

Irma caused a number of deaths and knocked out electricity to 3 million homes and businesses on its way up the Florida coast. Although the National Weather Service said the extreme storm conditions would continue for much of central and western Florida, Irma weakened further Monday.

Investors put their money back into global stock markets and the USA dollar, after a relatively quiet weekend on the Korean Peninsula drove risk appetite. It added 0.5 percent against its perceived safe-haven Japanese counterpart the yen JPY and clawed back ground against the high-flying euro as an European Central Bank policymaker flagged caution about the single currency's recent rise.

Meanwhile, concerns about the impact of Hurricane Irma on the USA economy also decreased, after it hit Florida Sunday with the strength of a Category 4 storm, instead of a Category 5 hurricane, as many analysts feared.

"And thankfully there was no bad weekend news out of North Korea either".

Against expectations, North Korea didn't conduct a weapons test on Saturday, when the country celebrated its founding day. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1% in the morning session, while Shenzhen's main board was 0.4% higher. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 per cent to 5,713.10.

"I think this shows that the market had been a bit panicky on Friday, on fears over weekend risks", the trader said.

Lee said many foreign investors and domestic institutions were purchasing South Korean tech and chemicals shares as quarterly earning season neared. The U.S. currency rose to 108.48 yen from 107.84 yen on Friday. Against a basket of currencies, it added 0.15 percent to 91.490 .DXY still close to last week's 2-1/2-year low of 91.011. The euro fell 0.2% against the greenback, paring some of last week's gains, to trade at $1.2017.

There were also reports Beijing was planning to shut down local crypto-currency exchanges, dealing a blow to bitcoin's recent stellar rally.

Meanwhile, bitcoin rose 1.9 percent to $4,306.85 on the BitStamp platform, regaining some ground after tumbling late last week.

In commodity markets, gold softened 0.7 percent to $1,337.81 an ounce XAU= , away from a one-year peak of $1,357.54.

On the energy front, oil prices edged up after settling 3% lower on Friday. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 20 cents to $47.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.



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