Asian stocks rebounded on Monday after Dubai said it had received $10 billion from Abu Dhabi to repay debt, which pushed down the yen and boosted the euro and emerging Asian currencies as risk appetite improved.
European shares were expected to open up as much as 0.8 percent, financial spreadbetters said, while the S&P futures gained 0.5 percent, reversing early losses and pushing Treasury futures to session lows.
The dollar shot up to 88.90 yen after the statement from around 88.50 yen. The euro also jumped to 130.43 yen from around 129.40 yen. For a graphic see http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/CM_20091412143032.jpg
It's all about risk appetite, said Sean Callow, currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corporation.
If Dubai doesn't default and thus there is no ripple through markets to its creditors as was feared in late November, then riskier assets and currencies can perform better and safe havens such as yen, dollar and CHF will be sold in knee jerk fashion.
Dubai said it had received $10 billion from Abu Dhabi to help it repay $4.1 billion in an Islamic bond maturing on Monday, easing fears of a potential debt default that had rattled global markets.
Emerging Asian currencies, such as the South Korean won and Indian rupee, firmed against the dollar, taking their cue from the firmer euro. For a graphic http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/CM_20091412140055.jpg
After losing almost 1 percent in early trade, the MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> reversed course following the Dubai announcement to gain half a percent by 0637 GMT (1:37 a.m. EST). For a graphic see http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/CM_20091412141312.jpg
The Thomson Reuters index of Asia ex-Japan equities <.TRXFLDAXPU> also gained almost 0.4 percent.
Shanghia stocks <.SSEC> jumped 1.6 percent while Hong Kong shares <.HSI> gained 1 percent.
In Tokyo, Nikkei average <.N225> erased earlier losses to end flat.
The market welcomed the news about the rescue of Dubai for now, keeping the Nikkei above 10,000, said Hiroaki Kuramochi, chief equity marketing officer at Tokai Tokyo Securities. But what's more critical for the market going forward will still be currency moves and the government's economic steps.
CDS TIGHTEN, GOLD RISES
Asian credit default swaps tightened after the Dubai news.
Asia ex-Japan iTraxx investment-grade index tightened 2-3 basis points to 98/100 bps, with South Korea CDS narrowing slightly to 88 bps and the Philippines by 2 bps to 165/175 bps.
As the dollar fell, gold gained steam and rose 1 percent to 1,125 per ounce, moving away from four-week lows hit on Friday.
Wall Street stocks mostly rose after U.S. retail sales posted the largest advance since August last month, while consumer sentiment improved sharply in December.
Most analysts expect the dollar's weakness to continue because the Fed is expected to keep interest rates near longer than other major central banks, suggesting the dollar will remain a funding currency for carry trades.
The dollar index <.DXY> shed a third of a percent to 76.31, pulling away from a six-week high on hit Friday on views the Federal Reserve might raise rates sooner than expected.
U.S. crude futures fell as much as $1 to below $69 a barrel, extending declines into a ninth session, hurt by worries over high oil inventories and a stronger dollar.
NYMEX crude for January delivery was down 53 cents at $69.34 barrel by 0520 GMT.. On Friday, it settled down 67 cents, marking an eighth straight session of losses.
(Additional reporting by Umesh Desai in HONG KONG; Editing by Kazunori Takada)