* ISM report underpins U.S. recovery hopes after Q1
* Nikkei hits 2-month high, ex-Japan Asian shares near 1-yr
* Euro under pressure on ECB easing expectations
* Some emerging market currencies soft, rupiah at 3-month
* European shares seen slightly softer
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, June 3 Asian shares rode higher on
Tuesday, supported by solid U.S. and Chinese data, while the
euro dragged its feet near a 3 1/2-month low on expectations of
fresh monetary easing by the European Central Bank.
Japan's Nikkei hit a two-month high, further boosted
by talk of public pension funds increasing their assets
allocated to domestic shares.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.2 percent, nearing a one-year high hit
European shares look to a cautious opening ahead of key euro
zone inflation data, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300
index at a six-year high. Spreadbetters see Britain's
FTSE falling 0.2 percent and France's CAC40 0.1 percent.
Asian shares were bolstered by the U.S. Institute for Supply
Management's manufacturing activity index rising to 55.4 in May
from 54.9 in April.
The data caused some confusion during U.S. trade because the
ISM initially announced a far weaker 53.2 and took nearly three
hours to issue a correction.
In the end, though, the corrected figure was nearly in line
with expectations. Coupled with other data showing a rise in
construction spending, it suggested a healthy recovery after the
first quarter's weather-related contraction.
The data came as Chinese data showed signs of improvement.
Following Sunday's data showing activity in the manufacturing
sector at the fastest pace in five months in May, while the
government's gauge of service-sector performance on Tuesday
showed the fastest expansion in six months in May.
Positive signs in the world's two largest economies helped
to lift MSCI's world index to a 6-1/2-year
intraday high about 1.5 percent away from its lifetime record
set in late 2007.
"On the whole, the world's economy is looking up, growing at
a moderate pace," said Ayako Sera, senior market economist at
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
As solid gains in equity prices undermined the allure of
safe-haven assets, gold flirted with a four-month low of
$1,240.65 an ounce hit on Monday, having fallen for five days in
a row. It last traded at $1,243.80.
Silver also stood near a one-year low of $18.60 hit
on Friday, changing hands at $18.79.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasuries posted the largest
daily advance in more than six weeks on Monday, jumping back to
2.53 percent compared to an 11-month low of 2.40
percent hit on Thursday. It last stood at 2.53 percent.
Global bond yields had fallen sharply in the past few weeks
partly on expectations that the European Central Bank will adopt
a series of easing measures at its meeting on June 5.
Such expectations have driven the euro down, and the common
currency stood at $1.3603, just a whisker above its 3
1/2-month low of $1.3586 hit on Thursday.
The common currency could face more pressure if the euro
zone inflation data shows a rising threat of
deflation after surprisingly weak German inflation data on
In contrast, the dollar index rose to its highest
level since Feb 13 at 80.681 on Monday, and last stood at
80.603, helped by the solid U.S. numbers.
Against the yen, the dollar rose to 102.49 yen
overnight, its highest in a month, though within a familiar
The dollar's resurgence put some emerging market currencies
The Brazilian real fell to two-month low of 2.2770 to
the dollar, also reflecting the worsening outlook for South
America's biggest economy and uncertainty over the central
bank's currency intervention programme.
The South African rand hit a two-month low of 10.6960 to the
dollar on Thursday, hurt by a run of weak data.
In Asia the Indonesian rupiah extended losses to a
three-month low of 11,825 to the dollar following Monday's news
of an unexpected trade deficit in April.
The Thai baht recovered from a four-month low hit
Monday on hopes of economic reforms by the military government.
(Editing by Eric Meijer and Simon Cameron-Moore)