Asian shares fuelled by Wall Street's rise on weaker dollar

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar fell further on Monday, adding to its steepest weekly drop in 3-1/2 years after the Federal Reserve indicated last week that a rate hike is likely to come later rather than sooner, a view that helped drive up oil prices and U.S. stocks.

U.S. energy shares were among the biggest gainers on Wall Street as crude prices rebounded on the weaker dollar. The euro rose 1 percent and the dollar index, which measures the greenback versus six major currencies, lost almost as much.

Gold rose for a fourth day to a two-week high, while copper prices in London hit their highest since Jan. 9. A weaker dollar boosts the purchasing power of commodity buyers paying with other currencies.

Traders and investors are focussed on when the Fed will tighten policy, viewed as most likely in September or October.

“The market has been in a back-and-forth motion for the last couple of weeks, caught between the potential for rising interest rates and its impact on the dollar and the feeling by investors that the economy is gaining some strength,” said Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

However, equity traders are “maybe a little bit too focussed” on the dollar’s moves, while the impact a stronger greenback has on corporate earnings is not entirely clear, Meckler said.

A Fed rate hike is “widely expected” this year, though the path for subsequent policy moves will be on a meeting-by-meeting basis, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said on Monday.

MSCI’s all-country world index .MIWD00000PUS, a measure of equity performance in 46 countries, rose 0.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 51.05 points, or 0.28 percent, at 18,178.70. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index .SPX was up 2.58 points, or 0.12 percent, at 2,110.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was down 4.82 points, or 0.10 percent, at 5,021.60.

European shares slid from multi-year highs as a new bout of worries concerning Greece’s debt negotiations led investors to book profits on the equity market’s solid start to 2015.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top regional shares closed down 0.76 percent at a provisional 1,598.63. All major country indexes in Europe fell, with Germany’s DAX .GDAXI, which hit a record high last week, sliding 1.2 percent. It is still up 21 percent so far this year.

U.S. Treasuries prices rose amid Greek-inspired investor anxiety and talks about the terms of a 240-billion-euro bailout for the cash-strapped country.

Benchmark 10-year Treasuries notes US10YT=RR were up 4/32 in price to yield 1.9164 percent.

The euro strengthened against the dollar despite comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on the bank’s bond-buying stimulus plan, which tends to weaken the single currency.

The euro was last up 1.0 percent against the dollar at $ 1.0928 EUR=EBS, not far from a nearly two-week high of $ 1.10625 hit last week. The dollar was last down 0.27 percent against the Japanese yen at 119.71 yen JPY=EBS.

The dollar index .DXY fell 0.74 percent to 97.189.

Oil rose to almost $ 56 a barrel as a weaker dollar offset concerns over the global oversupply after Saudi Arabia indicated it was pumping near a record high of 10 million barrels per day.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 traded up 15 cents at $ 55.47 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 was up 30 cents at $ 46.87.

(Reporting by Herb Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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