Asian shares advance as USA bond yields push dollar higher

Asian shares advance as US bond yields push dollar higher

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries hit its highest since January 2014, lifting the dollar index to a seven-week peak and making dollar-priced gold costlier holders of other currencies. European stocks edged lower after a broad retreat for equities across Asia. The pound joined major currencies retreating against the greenback, as UK Prime Minister Theresa May battled to avert a cabinet revolt over Brexit. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he may travel to China, a move that could ease tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Bond yields in the eurozone and United Kingdom were also higher on Monday but 10-year gilt and Bund benchmarks remain below their peaks for the year.

Italy's 10-year government bond yield spread over Germany is close to its tightest level since August 2016 at 116 basis points, despite the political uncertainty in that country following the March general election.

French President Emmanuel Macron continues a three-day visit to the U.S.

"We think the euro's weakness may be overdone as despite the U.S. Treasury yield spike theme reverberating in the markets over the last 24 hours, the U.S. economy is very much in the late stages of its economic cycle and a cautious ECB meeting is baked into markets", said Christin Tuxen, an FX strategist at Danske Bank in Copenhagen.

Earnings season continues. Among those reporting: Amazon.com, Samsung and Credit Suisse. Investors will watch for any sign that officials are preparing a shift in stimulus plans for their June meeting. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.6% to the lowest in more than two weeks.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent in morning trading to 22,236.53, helped by the weaker yen.

Japan's Topix index added 0.9 percent as of 2 p.m.in Tokyo.

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The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.5%, reaching the highest in nearly 14 weeks on its fifth straight advance.

The euro too fell half a percent to around $1.2232 EUR= .

Investors once again focused on corporate deals Monday as utility company Vectren agreed to be bought by CenterPoint Energy for $6 billion, while the CEO of Sears called for the company to sell more assets and health care products company Henry Schein said it will split off its animal health unit.

The dollar set a two-month high of 108.87 yen JPY=EBS and was holding near those levels.

On Wednesday, the yield on 10-year USA borrowing costs were at 2.975 percent and with oil prices climbing above $75 a barrel for the first time since late 2014, a rise to 3 percent can not be ruled out.

Including Monday's move, the USA 10-year yield surged almost 16 basis points in four trading sessions, the biggest four-day rise since late June last year. Britain's 10-year yield increased four basis points to 1.524%, the highest in more than a month.

Brent crude oil prices, the global benchmark, rose above $75 a barrel to their highest level since November 2014, supported by OPEC-led production cuts, strong demand and the prospect of renewed USA sanctions on Iran. Looking at gold today, the precious metal is enjoying a small rebound as US Treasury yields fall and the dollar trades sideways.

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