Asian shares prices held near five-month highs on Thursday after upbeat U.S. housing and Chinese factory data, while the dollar nursed modest losses following Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS stood little changed near the five-month high hit on Wednesday while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 0.2 percent.
MSCI’s 46-country world index .MIWD00000PUS stood just below its double-top of its September peak and a record high hit in July. “On the whole, the world’s markets seem likely to be in a risk-on mode. The valuation still looks not that expensive, except for U.S. markets,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.
The price-earnings ratio of U.S. shares stood at 19.6, but the world’s markets on the whole were traded at 16.3 times the earnings, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine. Wall Street shares were narrowly mixed on Wednesday as a positive mood was offset by a 2.6 percent fall in Apple (AAPL.O), which saw some profit-taking after gaining 21 percent since the start of this year.