Japan shares head for record rally, dollar extends gains

GMT 08:04 2015 Tuesday ,02 June

Arab Today, arab today Japan shares head for record rally, dollar extends gains

Japanese shares rose
Hong Kong - AFP

Japanese shares rose for a 13th session on Tuesday, equalling a record rally, thanks to the weak yen, while Greece's creditors held impromptu talks aimed at resolving the country's months-long debt reform crisis.

Mainland Chinese shares also picked up, adding to the previous day's surge and helping to almost wipe out a near seven percent slump over Thursday and Friday.

Tokyo rose 0.12 percent -- marking its best run of gains since 1988 -- while Shanghai added 0.33 percent. But Hong Kong fell 0.45 percent, Sydney shed 0.79 percent and Seoul was 0.46 percent lower.

Another upbeat economic indicator out of the United States added to expectations the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates soon, which in turn helped the dollar to 12-year highs against the yen.

Data showing US construction spending picked up strongly in April increased beliefs the American economy is rebounding after the winter stall, which saw it contract in the first three months of the year.

The Institute for Supply Management, meanwhile, said its measure of US manufacturing activity climbed last month from a near two-year low in April.

The Dow rose 0.16 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.21 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.25 percent.

"The ISM figures offer support to Federal Reserve Chair Yellen's desire to hike rates," Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"The weaker yen, earnings expectations and hopes for a reform of corporate governance are the reason behind this multi-day rally. And we still have room to go."

The dollar was at 124.86 yen in Tokyo Tuesday -- at highs not seen since December 2002 -- compared with 124.81 yen late Monday in New York.

The euro bought $1.0928 from $1.0924, and was also at 136.39 yen compared with 136.35.

- Greece talks -

The heads of the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss Greece's crisis as a Friday debt repayment deadline approaches.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde and ECB boss Mario Draghi unexpectedly visited Germany for the the late-night talks to come up with "a final proposal" to present to Athens, according to German daily Die Welt.

But Merkel's office said the group agreed only to work together "intensely" in the coming days and would stay in "close contact in the coming days".

Greece is battling to agree an overhaul of its bailout in order to unlock billions of euros in aid that will allow it to service its debts. There are fears that failure to do so will see Athens default, which could see it leave the eurozone.

A deal has so far proved elusive as the creditors are demanding greater reforms in return for the cash, which Greece's anti-austerity government has refused to match.

Oil prices slipped owing to the stronger US dollar and as dealers expected the OPEC cartel to stick to current output levels at a key meeting this week despite a global supply glut.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery eased seven cents to $60.13 while Brent crude for July fell 14 cents to $64.74.

Gold fetched $1,188.89 compared with $1,185.80 late Monday.

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