Japan's Nikkei leads gains as Asia traders stay optimistic

Asia stocks hit decade high, dollar firm before Fed meeting

At a two-day meeting beginning later on Tuesday, the Fed is expected to take another step toward policy normalization and announce plans to begin unwinding its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

Also helping risk appetite were expectations of a snap election.

US crude rose 1.5 percent to $50.65 per barrel and Brent was last at $55.86, up 1.75 percent on the day.

There was relief the weekend passed with no new provocation by North Korea, though Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions will be center stage when President Donald Trump addresses world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent.

The New Zealand dollar hit its strongest in more than a month at $0.7374 after a poll showed the ruling National Party regaining a wide lead over the opposition before Saturday's election.

Australia's main index added 0.6 percent while Japan's Nikkei was closed for a holiday.

The financial markets will also sift through the "dot plot" representing Fed policymakers' rate projections for any hints of a rate hike in December.

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Mr Ri reportedly added: "We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong Un". Meanhwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his U.S. counterpart Trump have exchanged strong words for each other.

Canada has already hiked twice in recent months and the Bank of England shocked many last week by flagging its own coming increases.

US 10-year Treasury yields, which edged up on Tuesday, retreated 1.8 basis points on the day to 2.23 percent.

"If we move closer to a USA rate hike, that should come along with a bit more dollar strength and euro weakness which would harden the ECB's exit case and be a headwind for government bonds", said Commerzbank strategist Rainer Guntermann. On Monday, the pound was a shade softer at $1.3585 but not far from the peak of $1.3615. German equivalents, the benchmark for euro zone borrowing costs, fell 1.3 bps to 0.44 percent. The modest bounce in the dollar combined with all the talk of monetary tightening put gold on the defensive.

The greenback was little changed at 111.640 yen after touching 111.880 overnight, its highest since late July.

Benchmarks around Europe are priced to give back around 0.1% across the board, according to financial bookmakers IG, with a weaker USA dollar pushing regional currencies higher and holding back equity gains.

Oil prices were hovering near five-month highs helped by a fall in the number of USA rigs drilling for new production and as refineries continued to restart after getting knocked out by Hurricane Harvey.

In commodities, crude oil prices rose, remaining buoyant ahead of Friday's meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers to discuss the state of their 1.8-million barrel-per-day supply cut deal. USA crude firmed 7 cents to $49.97 a barrel.


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