* Asian share markets mostly higher, Nikkei eases as yen
* Dollar on defensive after run of mixed US economic news
* Busy week for global indicators, highlighted by US
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, June 30 Asian share markets edged
cautiously higher on Monday while the dollar stayed under
pressure ahead of packed week of economic data that will test
investor hopes for a pick-up in the U.S. and global economies.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.24 percent. It gained 0.9 percent last
week to be just under multi-month highs, aided by the prospect
that interest rates in the major economies will remain near zero
for many months to come.
Most markets across the region were up modestly with Seoul
adding 0.4 percent and Shanghai 0.5 percent.
However, Tokyo stocks slipped 0.2 percent as the dollar
lost some more ground to a broadly firmer yen.
Bulls are hoping to see evidence of an economic rebound in
the United States in this week's busy calendar of data that
includes the June payrolls report on Thursday, a day early due
to the July 4 holiday.
Economists polled by Reuters on average expect jobs to rise
213,000 in June for the fifth straight month of gains above
200,000, a run unmatched since the Sept 1999-Jan 2000 period.
The U.S. earnings season also starts in the next couple of
weeks, which will provide evidence on how the economy and
profits are faring.
The Dow ended Friday 0.03 percent higher, though it
was down 0.6 percent on the week. The S&P 500 gained
0.19 percent for the day, while the Nasdaq advanced
The FTSEurofirst300 suffered its first weekly loss
in 10 weeks, while the MSCI world stocks gauge
eased 0.3 percent for the week.
With stocks stalled, investors poured more money into bonds
and had to lend for longer to earn any type of real return. That
flow pushed bond prices up and yields down, particularly at the
longer end of the curve.
Yields on 10-year Treasury notes were at 2.531 percent
on Monday, having fallen almost 9 basis points last
week. Likewise, yields on German 10-year paper dropped around 8
basis points to near record lows at 1.26 percent.
Bonds should remain supported, given central banks in the
U.S., Europe and Japan are seemingly committed to super low
rates for the foreseeable future.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gives a speech on
"financial stability" on Wednesday and will take questions.
The European Central Bank holds its policy meeting on
Thursday, a month after unleashing a far-reaching package of
measures aimed at keeping the euro zone economy from slipping
into a Japan-style deflation.
Consumer price figures for June are due later on Monday and
should show inflation stuck at a low 0.5 percent, the ninth
consecutive month in the ECB's "danger zone" of below 1 percent.
Globally, purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) for
manufacturing are out on Tuesday and services on Thursday. They
are expected to show a picture of growth or at least stability
despite geopolitical tensions around Ukraine and Iraq.
In currencies, the dollar index was last at 80.040,
after dipping as low as 80.010, a level not seen since May 21.
The euro was at $1.3645, near a 2-1/2 week high of
$1.3652 set on Wednesday, while the dollar lost altitude on the
yen to hit a five-week trough of 101.26.
In commodity markets, gold was steady at $1,315.20 an
ounce underpinned by geopolitical unrest in Iraq and Ukraine and
the softer dollar.
Brent crude oil eased 25 cents to 113.05 a barrel,
while U.S. crude futures lost 24 cents to $105.50. Oil
prices have come off recent highs as fighting in Iraq stayed
away from the country's south, where most of its oil is
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Eric Meijer)