Tokyo's Nikkei index hits 26-year high 09.01.2018

A man fastens his shoelaces as he walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Tuesday Jan. 9 2018. Asian shares rose Tuesday cheered by the upbeat mood on Wall Street and hopes for U.S. economic

Asia Stocks Saunter Toward Historic High

Investors were also in a good mood over an apparent easing of tensions on the Korean peninsula, with the first talks between North and South Korea in more than two years providing a ray of hope to many. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was steady at 7,729. Samsung's shares slumped 1.9 per cent. The last time the index led off a year with more consecutive gains was in 2010, when it had six.

The bellwether index added 0.57%, or 135.46 points, to end at 23 849.99 while the broader Topix index was up 0.48%, or 8.95 points, at 1 889.29.

The euro was up 0.6 percent at $1.2005 while the dollar fell 1.1 percent to 111.39 yen.

THE QUOTE: "A continuation of Monday's bullish glow look set for Asian markets into Tuesday with few data points to observe", says Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore. On Tuesday, it cut its JGB purchases of 10 to 25 years left to maturity and those of 25 to 40 years to maturity by 10 billion yen ($88.39-million) each, from its previous operations for those zones.

"Major central banks around the world have begun to normalize policy, and the BOJ's adjustments today reminded the market that someday it will, too", said Ayako Sera, senior market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust.

Also, in foreign exchange market, the dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies and hit an 11-day peak, as its decline last week to the lowest in more than three months continued to draw bargain hunters.

The euro was steady at $1.1967, not far from its almost four-month high of $1.2089 set on Thursday. While job growth slowed more than expected, a pickup in monthly wages pointed to labor market strength.

The U.S. 10-year note US10YT=RR yielded 2.546 percent, the highest since March 15, while the 3-year note yield US3YT=RR, which is sensitive to traders' views on Fed policy, was 2.074 percent, its highest since the instrument was reissued in 2007.

But the dollar's upward momentum was tempered as investors differed on the pace of tightening while US inflation remains relatively cool.

Crude oil prices firmed to their highest since May 2015, as political concerns in some OPEC nations offset projections for higher USA oil production. US stocks were poised for a solid opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent.

USA crude CLc1 rose $1.23, or 2 percent, to settle at $62.96 a barrel after touching its highest since December 2014 at $63.24.

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