* U.S. housing data tempers September Fed exit view
* Stocks mostly higher, gold briefly rises above $1,400 an
* Currency markets subdued, dollar finds support after dip
* European stocks seen tracking Asian markets higher
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose and gold hit a
near three-month high on Monday, extending a move started late
last week when a steep drop in U.S. new home sales tempered
expectations the Federal Reserve will soon reduce stimulus.
Trading was subdued, particularly in the currency markets,
as investors awaited fresh offshore leads amid a lack of
market-moving economic news out of Asia.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
climbed 0.5 percent, adding to Friday's 0.8
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 0.7 percent,
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.2 percent and
South Korea's KOSPI put on 1.0 percent.
European stocks were seen tracking gains in Asia. IG markets
predicted Germany's DAX will open 0.3 percent higher
and France's CAC 40 will rise 0.6 percent.
Tokyo's Nikkei closed just a touch lower, partly
weighed by concerns about whether the government will raise the
consumption tax as planned.
Monday's gains for most Asian markets came as a welcome
relief after the MSCI index suffered a hefty 2.9 percent drop
Much of the heat was felt in the region's emerging markets
as investors pulled out of crowded trades in preparation for a
Last week Indonesian stocks posted an 8.7 percent
slide in their biggest fall since September 2011. They were flat
in late trade on Monday, having climbed as much as 0.6 percent
India, Indonesia and Brazil have scrambled to try to stem
the destabilising outflows that have slammed their currencies
sharply lower, with the rupee skidding to record lows
Global central bankers at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole
policy conference were warned that global financial stability is
at risk as ultra-easy policies that have flooded the world with
cash are slowly unwound.
Uncertainty about when and how these policies will be phased
out meant that market volatility will likely remain high,
Data out on Friday showed sales of new U.S. single-family
homes fell to their lowest in nine months, raising doubts about
whether the Fed can afford to start to pull back next month --
giving investors an excuse to buy back severely beaten-down
"We still think the markets are overemphasing their
concerns on (Fed) tapering. Tapering is only likely to be put in
place if the U.S. economy is in good shape," said Martin Lakos,
division director at Macquarie Private Wealth.
While Friday's U.S. housing data is helping stocks and gold
to recover for now, it weighed on the dollar. The dollar index
, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a
basket of major currencies, was flat at 81.355, having slipped
0.2 percent on Friday.
Against the yen, the dollar traded at 98.56 off
Friday's peak of 99.15, while the euro bought $1.3382,
having climbed as high as $1.3410.
Spot gold briefly popped above $1,400 an ounce for
the first time since early June, extending Friday's 1.5 percent
rally. It last stood at $1,396.54.
U.S. crude was bid at $106.91 a barrel, while Brent
crude extended gains above $111 a barrel as rising
tensions in Syria added to concerns of increased unrest in the
Middle East that could disrupt supply.
Shanghai copper rose to its highest in over four months on
optimism about global growth and in the absence of London
markets due to a UK holiday.