By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO (Reuters) -- The prospect of a delay in the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to raise interest rates and signs of some stability in oil and commodity markets boosted Asian stocks on Tuesday.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7 percent to two-week high.
Japan's Nikkei extended the rebound from eight-month low hit a week ago, helped by speculation that the Bank of Japan might adopt stimulus to support the flaggingeconomy.
Also mildly supporting the market, 12 Pacific Rim countries including the United States,Japan and Canada reached the most ambitious trade pact in a generation, though some analysts say the benefits are far from clear.
"The market seem to be driven by speculation on policy steps, including uncertain benefits from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)," said Hitoshi Ishiyama, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
The Fed has said it is likely to raise rates this year as the economic recovery progresses, but surprisingly soft U.S. jobs data published on Friday led many market players to abandon expectations of a rate hike by the year-end.
That boosted sentiment on risk assets, which have been long hit by threats of higher dollar borrowing costs as well as concerns that growth in China may be falling to its slowest in many years.
The MSCI's broadest gauge of world stocks rose 1.9 percent on Monday to its highest level in more than two weeks.
Oil prices rose more than two percent on Monday, bolstered by a rally in U.S. gasoline and Russia's willingness to meet other major oil producers to discuss the market.
Global crude benchmark Brent LCOc1 rose 2.3 percent to $49.22 per barrel, edging closer to the top end of its rough $46-$50 trading band in the past month.
Commodity-linked currencies also fared better, with the New Zealand dollar hitting a six-week high of $0.6430 on Monday.
The Canadian dollar rose to its highest levels in more than two weeks to C$1.3065 to the greenback on Monday.
Precious metals were also supported, with silver XAG= hitting a three-month high of $15.71 per ounce on Monday.
Gold went to a one-week high of $1,142 per ounce on Monday and last stood at $1,136.10.
The dollar had a mixed performance against major currencies as the headwind from fading expectations on the Fed's rate hike was countered by positive risk sentiment.
The dollar traded at 120.48 yen and the euro traded at $1.1188, with both yen and euro sitting comfortably in their respective narrow trading ranges of the past few weeks.
The Australian dollar stood little changed at $.07083 after scaling a two-week high of $0.7112 on Monday, ahead of monthly policy meeting by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday.
While the RBA is widely expected to keep rates at a record low of 2 percent, but the market will be scrutinizing the policy statement for clues on the central bank's next move.
The BOJ also starts its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday.