Tokyo/Sydney - Asian markets marked a second day of gains on Tuesday after a string of upbeat factory data around the globe boosted shares and most commodities, while a delay in a potential US strike on Syria diminished the safe-haven appeal of gold and the yen.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3 percent, building on Monday's 1.2 percent rise and on track for a fourth day of gains, and Japan's Nikkei stock average added 1.9 percent. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.2 percent, though caution ahead of US employment data at the end of this week limited gains.
Friday's US job data that could provide clues on when the US Federal Reserve will begin rolling back its bond-buying stimulus programme, noted Hi Investment & Securities analyst Kim Seung-han in Seoul. “Initially the market will reflect on the euro zone's data but cues ahead may limit the extent of foreign inflows and cap market gains,” he said.
The dollar rose 0.3 percent to 99.62 yen after touching a one-month peak of 99.67 yen, while gold eased about 0.2 percent to $1,391.96 an ounce as investors rediscovered an appetite for risk.
The Reserve Bank of Australia holds its monthly policy meeting on Tuesday and is widely expected to hold rates steady, after having cut rates to a record low of 2.5 percent in August.
While Wall Street was closed for the Labour Day holiday on Monday, US stock futures posted solid gains with the S&P 500 contract up 0.9 percent. Broad gains across European bourses lifted MSCI's world equity index 0.6 percent.
Prospects for the global economy brightened considerably according to a fresh round of purchasing managers' surveys for August.
Factory activity in the euro zone rose at its fastest pace in more than two years, and even manufacturing in struggling Spain grew for the first time since April 2011.
The UK's version of the survey far outstripped expectations and sent sterling up 0.1 percent to $1.5551 as the market brought forward the likely timing of the first rate hike there in years.
All of this reinforced the impact of China's PMI, which showed activity in the country's vast manufacturing sector was at its highest in more than a year.
That continued to buoy commodities, with copper prices rebounding 0.4 percent to $7,270 a tonne.
Markets were also unwinding many of last week's safe-haven trades as worries about an imminent military strike against Syria abated after US President Barack Obama decided to seek congressional approval.
US crude oil prices slipped 0.7 percent to $106.85 a barrel, while Brent lost 0.1 percent to $114.25. - Reuters