Investors put their money back into global stock markets and the U.S. dollar, after a relatively quiet weekend on the Korean Peninsula drove risk appetite.
Against expectations, North Korea didn't conduct a weapons test on Saturday, when the country celebrated its founding day. A year earlier, Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test to mark the occasion. Havens like gold, U.S. Treasurys and the Japanese yen were broadly lower.
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Markets were expected to be positive "as risk sentiment recedes from both North Korea and Hurricane Irma's end," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Group.
The Nikkei Stock Average was up 1.4% in afternoon trade--after setting fresh four-month lows on Friday and logging its worst week in seven months--thanks in part to a weaker yen. That helped to boost the attractiveness of the country's export-oriented stocks.
Among those, several auto makers, including Toyota Motor and Mitsubishi Motors, were up about 1.5%, while electronics giants Sony and Sharp added 3.7% and 2.5%, respectively.
Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi was up 0.8%, driven by a 2% jump for Samsung Electronics, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 1% and Australia's S&P/200 rose 0.8%.
Broadly speaking, financial stocks led gains in key regional markets, recovering from declines at the end of last week. Japan's Topix bank subindex rose 1.4%, while Australia's big four banks were up about 1.7% on average. HSBC Holdings was up 1.1% in Hong Kong.
In China, stocks were slightly higher, led by gains in shares in electric vehicle makers, after state media reported that Beijing was considering plans to phase out traditional combustion engine cars to curb pollution.
Car maker BYD, in which investor Warren Buffett has a stake, was up 4% in Shanghai, while automotive components maker Wanxiang Group, which is listed in Shenzhen, gained 5.2%. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1% in the morning session, while Shenzhen's main board was 0.4% higher.
Meanwhile, the WSJ Dollar Index was up 0.2% against a basket of currencies, after sinking to its lowest level in more than two years on Friday. In particular, the dollar was up 0.5% against the Japanese yen.
Monday's dollar rise was a "relief rally...after last week's battering," Commerzbank analysts said.
In commodities, oil prices rebounded slightly. Nymex oil futures were up 0.8% at $47.88 a barrel, while Brent was up 0.4% at $54.00 a barrel.
Kenan Machado and Joanne Chiu contributed to this article.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 11, 2017 01:35 ET (05:35 GMT)