* Asia ex-Japan, Nikkei gain as risk appetite returns
* European markets poised for strong open
* Sterling little changed ahead of start of Brexit talks
* Euro steady on Macron's French parliamentary majority win
* Dollar muted after Friday's weak building, consumer data
* Oil drops as supply glut concerns weigh
By Nichola Saminather
SINGAPORE, June 19 Asian stocks rose on Monday,
shaking off Wall Street's subdued performance on Friday, and
sterling was steady after a van rammed into worshippers leaving
a London mosque, killing at least one person, as markets braced
for the start of Brexit talks.
European stock markets were set for a strong start to the
week, with financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting
Britain's FTSE 100 to open 0.6 percent higher, France's
CAC 40 to be up 0.3 percent and Germany's DAX
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.7 percent.
Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.6 percent.
Australian shares added 0.3 percent and South
Korea's KOSPI rose 0.4 percent.
Chinese blue-chip shares advanced 0.8 percent on
signs tight liquidity conditions were easing. Data showing home
prices rose 10.4 percent in May from a year ago, although
slowing from April's 10.7 percent gain, helped boost real estate
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.9 percent.
"Generally, the environment still remains fairly positive
for risk appetite," said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research at
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore.
"Now that the (Federal Reserve interest rate decision) is
out of the way, the focus, for this region anyway, will remain
on whether the economic environment will stay positive and the
recovery will continue."
On Friday, Wall Street ended mixed, with energy names
offsetting declines in consumer stocks, which were clobbered by
Amazon.com's $13.7 billion deal to buy upscale grocer Whole
The S&P 500 index closed flat, the Dow Jones
Industrial Average ended up 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq
lost 0.2 percent.
Europe had a more upbeat session on Friday, with British
, German and French stocks, as well as
the broader STOXX Europe 600, closing higher.
The British pound was flat at $1.2777 after a van
rammed into worshippers as they were leaving a Finsbury Park
mosque in North London early on Monday.
Police said one man had been pronounced dead and 10 people
were injured, in what Britain's largest Muslim organization said
was a deliberate act of Islamophobia. The van driver has been
British Prime Minister Theresa May said police confirmed the
incident was being treated as a potential terrorist attack.
Brexit Secretary David Davis starts negotiations in Brussels
on Monday, which will be followed by a Brussels summit on
Thursday and Friday where May will encounter - but not negotiate
with - fellow European Union leaders.
Davis's agreement to Monday's agenda led some EU officials
to believe that May's government may at last be coming around to
Brussels' view of how negotiations should be run for Britain's
exit from the EU. May's own immediate political survival is in
doubt after she lost her parliamentary majority in an election.
Projections showing a strong parliamentary majority for
French President Emmanuel Macron following Sunday's vote, giving
him a powerful mandate to push through pro-business reforms,
lent support to the euro.
The common currency was steady at $1.1195,
retaining Friday's 0.5 percent gain.
The dollar was little changed on Monday. On Friday, it fell
after U.S. homebuilding dropped for a third month in May to the
lowest in eight months and a barometer of U.S. consumer
sentiment unexpectedly fell in early June, prompting concerns
about the Federal Reserve's plans to stick with its monetary
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of six global peers, was little changed at 97.182,
failing to make up any of Friday's 0.3 percent loss.
The market is awaiting comments by New York Fed President
William Dudley, a close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, when he
speaks at a business roundtable in New York state.
"In the wake of Friday's weak U.S. data, Dudley could
provide insight into whether the Fed is still poised to continue
normalising monetary policy," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief
forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
"My view is that Dudley won't sound too dovish, and thus
allow the dollar's gradual rise to resume."
The greenback fared better against the Japanese yen
, which remained weak after the Bank of Japan left its
ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged last week.
The yen didn't respond to data on Monday showing Japanese
exports rose at their fastest pace in May since January 2015.
The dollar added 0.1 percent to 110.98 yen, after
touching a two-week high on Friday.
In commodities, oil futures lingered near six-week lows, as
concerns about a supply glut amid faltering demand.
U.S. crude slipped 0.35 percent to $44.58 a barrel,
while global benchmark Brent dropped 0.3 percent to
Gold touched a 3-1/2-week low earlier in the session, and
was trading down slightly at $1,252.70 an ounce at 0500 GMT.
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Additional reporting by
Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)