Asia cheered by Wall St. rebound, dollar resumes advance

By Reuters

Sep 24, 2014 09:02 PM EDT

Asian stocks rose early on Thursday, cheered by a sizeable overnight rebound on Wall Street, while the dollar resumed its advance after upbeat economic data undercut safe-haven bids and pushed yields higher.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 0.1 percent, pulling away from a four-month low touched the previous day when U.S.-led air strikes in Syria stoked geopolitical concerns.

Tokyo's Nikkei .N225 rose 1 percent, heartened as the yen resumed its weakening against the dollar.

Wall Street rebounded broadly overnight, buoyed by strong U.S. housing data and with dovish statements from a top Federal Reserve official also helping.

"Risk aversion was increasing across global equities this week, but once again it was the U.S. market that helped clear uncertainty," said Junichi Ishikawa, a market strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

The dollar, rejuvenated after benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose for the first time in four days and as the euro slumped to fresh lows, edged closer to a six-year high versus the yen.

The dollar traded as high as 109.27 yen. A break above 109.46 would take the greenback to a high not seen since 2008.

The euro hovered close to a 14-month trough of 1.2774 struck overnight on poor German data and statements by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi monetary policy would be kept loose for an extended period.

The Australian dollar managed to bounce back towards 89 U.S. cents from a seven-month low of $0.8831 plumbed on Tuesday as risk appetite improved.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens will give a brief speech at 10.30 p.m. ET that could potentially offer trading insights, but he is not scheduled to take questions.

For broader cues the financial markets are eyeing U.S. jobless claims and durable goods numbers due later in the day for potential impact on yields and currencies.

In a week filled with appearances by U.S. central bank officials, investors today await Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lochart's speech.

In commoditiesBrent crude oil extended gains on escalating conflict in the Middle East and stronger-than-expected growth expectations for China helped lift the benchmark off a two-year low the previous day. [O/R]

Brent LCOc1 rose 4 cents to 96.99 a barrel.

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