* MSCI Asia-Pacific index up 0.5 pct, Nikkei adds 0.1 pct
* Dollar firm after upbeat U.S. consumer confidence data
* Crude oil holds large gains after rallying overnight
* Copper, iron ore buoyant
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, Dec 28 Asia stocks followed Wall Street
higher on Wednesday, while the dollar firmed against the yen
following the release of upbeat U.S. economic data overnight.
Crude oil prices held large gains on expectations of supply
tightening once oil-producing nations implement a scheduled
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.5 percent.
Australian stocks rode a rise in commodities to gain
1 percent. Indonesian shares added 1.9 percent while
Shanghai shed 0.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei rose
U.S. stocks had gained slightly on Tuesday, supported by
upbeat consumer and housing data, with gains in technology
shares lifting the Nasdaq Composite to a record close.
The dollar was 0.1 percent higher at 117.600 yen. It
was lifted after previous day's data showed U.S. consumer
confidence hitting its highest level in more than 15 years in
December, in addition to robust housing numbers.
"Until data starts to turn negative or the headlines suggest
that (U.S. president-elect) Trump's stimulus programme could
fall short of expectations, the dips in the dollar will be
shallow with the currency aiming for new highs," wrote Kathy
Lien, managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management.
"But at the first sign of bad news there could be massive
correction in what is quickly becoming a crowded long dollar
trade," Lien added.
The dollar index was steady at 102.930. The euro
inched up 0.2 percent to $1.0474 and sterling recovered
most of the previous day's losses to stand 0.2 percent higher at
U.S. Treasury yields rose on Tuesday to one-week highs in
response to the strong domestic data which reinforced hopes for
a series of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve next
In commodities, U.S. crude was a touch lower at
$53.84 a barrel after an overnight surge of 1.7 percent.
Oil has rallied into the year-end, albeit in thin trade,
with support from expectations of tighter supply once the first
output cut deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in 15 years
takes effect on Sunday.
Firmer oil prices and upbeat U.S. data helped support the
wider commodity market. Copper on the London Metal Exchange
was up 1.6 percent at $5,565 per tonne as trading
resumed after the Christmas holidays.
Shanghai zinc and nickel prices were also pulled higher.
"There is strong positive sentiment on the outlook for these
industrial metals going into 2017, and that's what we're seeing
today," said a Perth-based commodities trader. "Let's see if
this carries in to the main LME session later on."
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange extended
gains after breaking a 9-day slump the previous day. It was last
up 3.5 percent at 569.0 yuan ($81.82) per tonne.
The raw material has risen about 170 percent this year,
boosted by expectations of Chinese stimulus. It has also
benefited from hopes that the incoming Trump Administration will
increase infrastructure spending.
($1 = 6.9541 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Additional reporting by James
Regan in Sydney; Editing by Eric Meijer)