* Retail flows driving markets; volumes light
* Dollar consolidates gains after recent rally; yuan bounces
* Oil rises on planned production cuts, dlr pause
By Saikat Chatterjee
HONG KONG, Nov 22 Asian stocks rose to one-week
highs, helped by solid overnight gains on Wall Street, though
investors were wary of chasing prices higher until
President-elect Donald Trump picks his economic team. Oil
Crude oil climbed in Asian trading with U.S. West Texas
Intermediate (WTI) up 1 percent as the dollar pulled back
and expectations of production cuts grew.
Prices surged 4 percent to a three-week high on Monday,
after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin raised
hopes that producer countries will reach a deal at a meeting
next week to limit output.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was up 1.3 percent, pulled up by a 1.3 percent
rally in Australian shares. Korean shares and
Hong Kong stocks rose 0.9 and 1.3 percent each.
European stocks were also expected to open higher with gains
seen around 0.5 percent for key markets.
"Most of the flow into stocks seems to be retail-oriented
with institutional investors preferring to sit out the rally
unless they get a clearer picture on Trump's economic team,"
said Andrew Sullivan, managing director, sales trading at
Haitong International Securities Group in Hong Kong.
Trump met some officials and outlined plans for his first
day in office on Monday, including withdrawing from the TPP
Asia-Pacific free trade accord and investigating abuses of work
Such actions may lead to retaliation by trade partners such
as China and could potentially derail markets, noted Libby
Cantrill, head of public policy at bond giant PIMCO.
But for now, expectations that Trump's administration will
adopt expansionary fiscal policies have sent U.S. stocks to a
record high, while a belief that such policies would fuel
inflation and lead to higher interest rates pushed up bond
yields and strengthened the dollar.
On Monday, U.S. stocks closed at a record high and European
markets moved higher.
Investors in Japanese stocks appeared unfazed by Tuesday's e
earthquake in northern Japan.
"Investors will react if more manufacturers halt operations
in their factories in the region, but right now the impact from
the earthquake is limited," said Hiroaki Mino, director of the
investment information department at Mizuho Securities.
The benchmark Nikkei average was broadly steady and
the yen ticked up a shade against the U.S. dollar,
although still near the five-month low hit earlier in the
Trading volume was generally low ahead of the U.S.
Thanksgiving holiday, with expectations of a U.S rate increase
next month already priced in by markets.
The dollar, which has rallied over 5 percent against a
trade-weighted basket of currencies since Trump's
victory, consolidated its gains.
"There is a narrative that there will be strong
leadership because Republicans took the White House and both
houses of Congress. But we have to keep in mind that Trump also
divided the nation as well as the Republicans," said Daisuke
Uno, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.
The dollar's mild weakness propped up gold prices with spot
gold up 0.3 percent at $1217.70 per ounce. Gold prices
have fallen 10 percent since the U.S. election outcome.
It also helped emerging market currencies trim some losses
after a recent battering. The Chinese yuan rebounded
from a near 8-1/2 low hit on Monday.
With markets moving higher, volatility indicators receded.
The CBOE Volatility Index, a so-called "fear gauge",
fell 3.4 percent.
(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Additional reporting by Ayai
Tomisawa in TOKYO; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Eric