World Economy

Asian Shares Stall

Asian Shares StallAsian Shares Stall

Asian shares dragged their feet on Tuesday after a healthcare mega-merger failed to impress investors while the dollar held firm near an eight-month high as investors grew more convinced of a US rate hike next month.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was almost flat while Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.1% after a long weekend, Yahoo reported.

Wall Street shares edged down on Monday with Pfizer’s plan to buy Allergan plc in a $160 billion deal quickly drawing criticism from politicians as a tax dodge.

“Investors may feel that even if this deal comes through, this will become the last of this sort,” said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset.

For now, markets have shown no immediate reaction to worldwide travel alert issued by the US State Department, warning US citizens of the risks of travelling because of what it described as “increased terrorist threats.”

The dollar’s index against six major currencies rose to an eight-month high of 100.00, edging near its 12-year peak of 100.39 touched on March 13.

Comments from San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Saturday citing a “strong case” for raising rates cemented the attraction of the dollar.

The euro fetched $1.06, having fallen to a seven-month low of $1.05 in US trade on Monday.

Precious metals were under pressure, with gold hovering just above last week’s near six-year high of $1,065.50 per ounce, last trading at $1,069.90.

Silver hit a six-year low of $13.925 per ounce and platinum to a seven-year low of $839.50.

A strong dollar also hit base metals, which have been suffering from concerns about slowing demand from China.

Copper, which has fallen 12% so far this month, stood at $4,490 per ton, near 6 1/2-year low of $4,443.50 hit on Monday.