Asia up as USD/JPY trades at seven-month low

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USD/JPY fell to a seven-month low against the dollar trading at 81,166 as Asian shares rose, boosted by a more positive tone in US equities last week and on expectations that next month’s Japanese elections will bring a new stimulus friendly government. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0,6 percent, recovering from Friday’s nine-week low. The energy sector outperformed on mounting supply concerns following the development in Gaza with Israeli air strikes and Hamas rocket attacks underpinning oil prices. Brent crude trades at 109,50. NYMEX is at 87,57.

Most markets under-performed last week. There are, however, hopes that US negotiations around the fiscal situation may progress and improve prospect for the stock markets. Japan’s Nikkei surged 2,2 percent Friday and bucked the downtrend in broad Asia. It has extended the gains this morning. Nikkei is 1,3 percent up and trades at a two-month high helped a weaker Yen and expectations that 16th December elections shall bring a new government ready to call for stimulus and a more aggressive easing from the Central Bank of Japan.

Hope that US politicians would find a common ground to steer clear of the “fiscal cliff”, boosted US stocks on Friday. European stocks, however, sank to its lowest level seen since May on US “fiscal cliff” concerns and the euro zone debt crisis. US treasury yields fell to its lowest levels in over two months on Friday as skepticism over the US budget talks drew safe-haven bids. Lawmakers, however, hinted at a possible budget compromise involving budget cuts and tax revenues.

The dollar is still strong after hitting a two month high in early Friday trading against a basket of six major currencies. The drop in Gold helped precious metals. Gold is trading 10 dollar up at 1723. Silver is 32,60 after dipping below 32 on Friday. The Euro rose to 1.2772 on Friday on expectations that the International Monetary Fund, IMF and euro zone finance ministers shall agree on how to make Greece’s debt more manageable. A bundled aid package to avert a Greek default may create a relief rally in the Euro. Euro/USD is at present trading at 1.2762. The short and medium term outlook for the Euro is, however, still bearish.

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