By Swati Pandey
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian markets started on a firm footing and the dollar eased on Friday as softer-than-forecast U.S. inflation data tempered expectations for faster Federal Reserve interest rate rises this year.
Investor sentiment also got a small boost after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had high hopes of "doing something very meaningful" to curtail North Korea's nuclear ambitions at a summit in Singapore next month.
Clear signs of thawing relationships in the Korean peninsula and the prospect of still expansionary monetary policies in most of the developed world helped whet risk appetite, although concerns remained around U.S.-China trade skirmishes and rising tensions in the Middle East.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> rose for a second straight session to near three-week highs.
Japan's Nikkei <.N225> climbed 0.7 percent while South Korea's KOSPI <.KS11> added 0.6 percent. Australian and New Zealand shares were both up 0.2 percent. <.AXJO> <.NZ50>
On Wall Street, the Dow <.DJI> rose 0.8 percent, the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> gained 0.89 percent and the S&P 500 <.SPX> rose 0.9 percent, surging past key resistance of 2,717 points.
Equities gained as investors trimmed their expectations for four Fed rate hikes after inflation data showed price pressures remained weak. The Fed has already raised rates once this year and is widely expected to go twice again in 2018.
The U.S. consumer price index rose 0.2 percent last month, below analyst forecasts of 0.3 percent, as a moderation in healthcare prices offset increases in the cost of gasoline and rental accommodations.
The dollar fell the most since late March overnight against a basket of major currencies <.DXY>, while the Mexican peso
The British pound
The recent slowing in price growth in major economies has boosted expectations that most central banks except the Fed will continue their massive bond-buying programmes to keep policy stimulatory.
"Risk appetite rose overnight with U.S. core inflation and unchanged Bank of England both signalling only gradual normalisation in interest rates," ANZ analysts said in a note.
"Equities liked the contained inflation/rates environment."
On Friday, the dollar index <.DXY> rose modestly while the euro
Malaysian markets were closed Friday but its newly appointed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad emerged with key election pledges including repealing an unpopular goods and services tax and restoring a petrol subsidy.
Ratings agency Moody's said some campaign promises would be "credit negative" for Malaysia.
Such concerns pushed up the cost of insuring against a Malaysia default, with the country's 5-year credit default swap price
In commodities markets, spot gold was steady at $1,21.32 an ounce.
Oil hovered near multi-year peaks amid supply concerns after Trump withdrew from an Iranian nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions.
U.S. crude futures
(Editing by Sam Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Updated Date: May 11, 2018 07:05 AM