* Asia ex-Japan up 0.6 pct; Nikkei closes down 0.2 pct
* European stock futures point to a positive open
* Australian dollar, shares up; central bank holds rates
* Oil pulls back on concerns about growing U.S. production
By Nichola Saminather
SINGAPORE, March 7 Asian shares rose on Tuesday,
diverging from New York markets that slipped on concern about
President Donald Trump's ability to focus on economic policies.
Oil prices were slightly lower amid fears growing U.S.
production will offset OPEC cuts.
Futures are pointing to a positive open for Britain's FTSE
100 and France's CAC 40.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.6 percent, after inching back in early
Japan's Nikkei closed down 0.2 percent.
Australian shares ended up 0.3 percent. They opened
soft and moved up on expectations the central bank's policy
meeting would leave its interest rate unchanged at 1.5 percent,
which it did.
The Australian dollar jumped 0.5 percent to $0.762.
On Monday, U.S. share indexes posted losses of as much as
Tuesday's reversal in Asian shares "was a little bit
surprising," said James Woods, global investment analyst at
Rivkin in Sydney.
He attributed the changed course partly to views that Trump
is now "making progress on his promises," citing movement toward
"The other part is the technical aspect," Woods said.
"Things are looking positive, we're seeing positive data
reports, so investors are taking the dips as buying
Republicans unveiled legislation to dismantle the
Affordable Care Act on Monday, calling for an end to health
insurance mandates and rolling back extra healthcare funding for
Congressional Democrats denounced the Republican plan,
saying it would hurt Americans by requiring them to pay more for
healthcare, to the benefit of insurers.
Trump's allegations over the weekend that he was wiretapped
by his predecessor Barack Obama, without offering any evidence,
also raised concerns about his ability to focus on his promised
economic measures, including tax cuts and a boost to
The euro rose almost 0.1 percent to $1.0589,
following a 0.4 percent slide on Monday after former French
Prime Minister Alain Juppe ruled out standing in the country's
On Monday, European stocks posted losses, with Deutsche
Bank's falling 7.9 percent, the biggest drag on the
FTSEurofirst 300 index, after the German lender unveiled
an 8 billion euro ($8.47 billion) cash call as part of a major
But declines were limited by deals between French carmaker
PSA Group and General Motors, and between
Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of trade-weighted peers, was steady at 101.61, after
Monday's 0.1 percent gain.
The dollar was also flat at 113.915, after Monday's
0.15 percent loss.
In commodities, U.S. oil pulled back 0.1 percent to
$53.13 a barrel, following Monday's 0.2 percent drop, on ongoing
concerns that U.S. production growth may undermine output cuts
by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Global benchmark Brent retreated 0.2 percent to
($1 = 0.9446 euros)
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Jacqueline Wong
and Richard Borsuk)