Asia shares steady, Turkish lira pares losses

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - The US dollar gained on the yen in Asia on Monday (July 18) as investors unwound safe-haven trades in the wake of the failed coup in Turkey, while better US economic news and the promise of central bank stimulus lent support to equities.

The Turkish lira was quoted around 2.9675 after the US dollar climbed almost 5 per cent late Friday to a six-month peak around 3.0476. Dealers noted liquidity was sparse and a true price would only be found once Turkish markets opened.

Ankara said it was in control of the country and economy and widened a crackdown on suspected supporters of the failed military coup, taking the number of people rounded up in the armed forces and judiciary to 6,000.

The initial reaction of investors to the coup had been to bid up safe havens such as the Japanese yen, but that was quickly unwinding. The dollar was at 105.40 yen having briefly been as low as 104.63 late Friday, with trade further thinned by a holiday in Japan.

Likewise, the euro had steadied at US$1.1058 after gapping as low as US$1.1021 on Friday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat having reached its highest in almost nine months last week. Australia added 0.2 per cent and South Korea was little changed.

The E-mini futures contract for the S&P 500 was up 0.1 per cent, following on from Friday's upbeat US economic data. The Dow had ended 0.05 per cent firmer, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both lost 0.09 per cent.

Prices for US Treasuries were a fraction lower with yields on the 10-year note edging up to 1.56 per cent.

In commodity markets, spot gold eased a touch to US$1,333.78 per ounce.

Oil prices were little changed at first. Brent crude was 1 cent lower at US$47.60 a barrel, while NYMEX crude fell 11 cents to US$45.84.

Investors are also wagering on policy easings from the Bank of England and Bank of Japan in the next month or so, while few see much chance of the Federal Reserve hiking US rates anytime soon.