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.
- 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%.
- 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.
- 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.