Nikkei soars to two-year high on yen fall, Wall Street rise

Asia Stocks Hit Decade High, Dollar Firm Before Fed Meeting

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 111.54 yen from 111.58 yen.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.9 percent to reach heights not visited since late 2007.

ANALYST TAKE: "Details on balance sheet reduction will be of interest, but crucially the committee will extend its rate outlook in 2020, and this could give us a good sense of the end-point for the interest rate in this current tightening cycle", said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

ANALYST TAKE: "While we're not expecting any surprises out of the meeting, in terms of another rate hike for example, we should learn a lot about how the Fed plans to tighten monetary policy going forward and that will determine how USA yields and the dollar respond", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. The market is pricing in an approximately even chance of a hike in December.

By contrast, Nitori Holdings plunged 4.17 percent on news that the interior goods retailer is likely to post a lower than expected operating profit for March-August, brokers said.

Japan's Nikkei stock index () surged 1.2 percent in early trade, catching up to global equities gains and responding to a weaker yen as Tokyo markets reopened after a public holiday on Monday.

On Thursday, the Bank of Japan will deliver its own policy verdict, and is widely expected to maintain the status quo as inflation remains tepid despite the modestly recovering economy.

Meanwhile, Chihiro Ota, general manager for investment research and investor services at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., said expectations of an early Lower House election had a limited impact on the market because the political event "is unlikely to create major changes" in terms of economic policy management.

"There has been concern among foreign investors, about the future of Abenomics and the Abe administration, with clear declines in Abe's approval ratings earlier this year", said Stefan Worrall, director of Japan equity sales at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.

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The Nikkei has gained almost 30 percent since Abe attained political power in late 2012.

South Korea's Kospi was down 0.1 per cent while Australia shed 0.6 per cent.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hinted on Monday about the existence of military options on North Korea that might spare Seoul from a brutal counterattack.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.13%, with the heavily-weighted financials sub-index climbing 0.37%.

The euro barely moved at $1.1943 and on track to end the week 0.8 percent lower.

The dollar added 0.2 against its Japanese counterpart to 111.81, its highest since late July.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 24 cents to $50.15 a barrel.

Crude oil prices were unsteady, but stayed near last week's multimonth highs.

Crude oil prices were mixed, not far from last week's multimonth highs but seen lacking momentum as traders braced for a potential stockpile build-up expected later this week. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 55 cents to $55.69 per barrel in London.


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