* Record Wall St high, upbeat China PMI lift Asia shares
* Spreadbetters see Europe stock markets mostly higher
* Expected ECB stimulus eyed later in week for further lift
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, June 2 Encouraging China factory data and
another closing record on Wall Street lifted Asian equities and
commodities on Monday, while the euro held recent gains against
the dollar but remained on shaky ground ahead of a closely
watched European Central Bank meeting.
The upward momentum was seen spilling over into European
equities, with financial spreadbetters forecasting Britain's
FTSE to open up as much 0.32 percent, Germany's DAX
0.26 percent higher and France's CAC to open flat.
Tokyo's Nikkei led by way, rising 2.1 percent, while
Australian shares added 0.3 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was little changed. Greater China markets were
closed on Monday for a holiday.
"Risk appetite has risen mainly on bright economic data from
China, but the direction for the month will likely depend on
other economic data like U.S. jobs figures this week," said
Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities in
China's factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in
five months in May due to rising new orders, official data
showed on Sunday, reinforcing views that the world's
second-largest economy is regaining momentum.
After weeks of speculation the ECB is expected to deliver
economic stimulus on Thursday via monetary easing. The euro fell
to a 3-1/2 month low last week ahead of the expected move,
although risk assets like equities should get a boost.
The euro traded little changed at $1.3629 after
bouncing back late last week from $1.3587, its lowest since Feb.
The dollar edged up 0.2 percent to 102.03 yen after
rebounding against the Japanese currency Friday thanks in part
to slightly higher U.S. Treasury yields.
On Friday, the Dow and S&P 500 rode the momentum of the
recent risk asset rally to set record closing highs.
However, Wall Street gains were modest in the wake of a
mixed bag of U.S. data and investors will be looking to Friday's
non-farm payrolls for confirmation that recovery for the world's
largest economy is on track.
The U.S. job data's impact on the Treasury market will also
be eyed following a debt market rally in May that took benchmark
yields to 11-month lows and pressured the dollar.
OIL, COPPER UP
The good China PMI reading also lifted oil and base metals
by improving demand prospects for the world's second biggest
Brent crude gained 40 cents to $109.81 a barrel.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
climbed 0.6 percent to $6,888 a tonne. The metal gained 3.1
percent in May, its biggest monthly advance since December.
"It's certainly a good sign to see the PMI starting to pick
up, which suggests that the Chinese fine-tuning of policies is
starting to gain a bit of traction which is a positive for
industrial commodities," said analyst James Glenn of National
"But we probably can't get too carried away just yet - we
need to keep an eye on some of the other indicators. The HSBC
(PMI) has improved but it's still a bit soft. You'd probably
want to see a bit more of a broad-based improvement in those
sorts of indicators."
Safe-haven gold slid for a fifth straight session as
investor sentiment was hurt by stronger global equities and weak
physical demand in Asia. Spot gold was at $1,245.10 an
ounce, not far from the four-month low of $1,241.99 hit on
(Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa in Tokyo and Melanie
Burton in Sydney; Editing by Richard Pullin & Kim Coghill)