Global markets: Dollar near highs vs yen on jobs, Asian shares steady
Commodities prices were caught between growing optimism about more solid demand as the global economy improves and the strengthening dollar which makes dollar-denominated commodities expensive for non-dollar holders.
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan held steady but were weighed by a 0.1 percent drop in South Korean shares and a 0.3 percent decline in Shanghai shares.
Demand for riskier assets was curbed by caution after a mixed bag of data from China over the weekend painted a patchy economic recovery in the world's second-largest economy and top consumer for many commodities. The data signalled a looming dilemma for policymakers, as inflation stood at a 10-month high in February while factory output and consumer spending were weaker than forecast.
"That's what people are trying to marry up, they've seen the Chinese data over the weekend, and it's been a little bit below their expectations and so miners aren't doing very well and the rest of the stocks seem to be pretty patchy at the moment," said Credit Suisse equity strategist Damien Boey of Australian stocks.
Australian shares rose 0.4 percent in choppy trade as weak iron ore prices hit miners while financials stocks were up on the back of further gains on Wall Street. The commodity-linked Australian dollar was down
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