MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
<.MIAPJ0000PUS> tacked on 0.1 percent after rising to a 3-week high
on Friday on the back of heightened speculation Beijing will launch
new spending measures and reduced tensions in Ukraine.
Australian shares <.AXJO> gained 0.5 percent, while Tokyo's Nikkei
stock average <.N225> rose 0.9 percent.
China's Premier Li Keqiang on Friday sought to reassure jittery
global investors that Beijing was ready to support the cooling
economy, saying the government had the necessary policies in place
and would push ahead with infrastructure investment.
The euro lingered near a one-month low it hit against the dollar on
Friday after an unexpected drop in Spanish and German inflation
bolstered expectations the European Central Bank could further ease
monetary policy as early as Thursday.
"It all depends on whether the ECB views the recent slowdown as a
temporary pullback or a deeper problem. Given the abundance of
policymakers talking about the possibility of negative rates, we
believe they are growing more concerned about growth and inflation,"
Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York,
wrote in a note to clients.
The euro was already under pressure after suggestions of more ECB
action last week from Germany — whose policymakers have in the past
repeatedly voiced concerns about unorthodox monetary easing.
The focus now turns to euro zone inflation figures due later in the
global session in light of Friday's weak Spanish and German
[to top of second column]
The euro was little changed at $1.3746 after plumbing a one-month
low of $1.3704 on Friday.
The dollar drew support from a rise in U.S. Treasury yields amid
hopes that the Federal Reserve will taper its massive monetary
easing and pave the way for an eventual rate hike.
Yields of intermediate-dated Treasury notes neared two-month highs
on Friday. The sustained pressure on yields follow comments from
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen earlier this month which raised
the possibility of rate hikes starting as early as spring 2015.
The dollar inched up 0.1 percent to 102.87 yen, hovering below a
two-week peak of 102.98 reached on Friday.
In the commodities markets, gold remained under pressure amid an
improvement in risk appetite.
Spot gold traded at $1,295.91 an ounce, within a stone's throw of a
six-week low of $1,285.34 hit on Friday.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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