Expectations of a hike have increased since Donald Trump was elected president in November as dealers bet his big-spending, tax-cutting plans will fan inflation. And the latest reading on prices increases, as well as healthy jobs growth and factory activity, have reinforced that view.
Hong Kong added 0.2 per cent in the morning and Shanghai was up 0.3 per cent while Seoul put on one per cent. Sydney was flat while Singapore dipped 0.1 per cent.
On currency markets Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA, said the euro “traded a little heavy, but with much ink spilled over the French elections, (it) has held remarkably well.
“Traders donned their noise-cancelling headphones, not wanting to get emotionally caught in EU political melodrama at this stage.”
Investors are keeping an eye on the release this week of Fed minutes from its most recent policy meeting hoping for fresh clues about its plans for rates, while preliminary factory figures are also due this week from the US and Europe.
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