Asian shares held to tight ranges on Monday

Asian shares held to tight ranges on Monday, as did currencies, as investors awaited developments on U.S. fiscal stimulus and coronavirus vaccines amid a resurgence of infections in Europe.

Asian Shares

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was a shade weaker, though it was not too far from a June 2018 peak at 568.84.
  • Australian and New Zealand shares both opened in the red while South Korea’s KOSPI was 0.1% up.
  • Japan’s Nikkei hovered near a recent 7-month high at 23,360.
  • U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were down 0.16%.

Currencies

  • In currencies, the dollar held near a more than 3-1/2 month trough against the safe-haven yen at 104.52.
  • The euro was up 0.1% on the day at $1.1845 and has lost 0.76% in a month, while the risk sensitive Australian dollar was flat at $0.7289.
  • The British pound was up 0.1% at $1.2930.
  • That left dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, barely changed at 92.956.

Commodities

  • In commodities, U.S. crude slipped 0.46% to $40.92 a barrel.
  • Brent crude fell to $42.99 per barrel.
  • Gold was slightly lower, with spot prices at $1,949.6 per ounce.

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