* APAC ex-Japan posts gains; Nikkei down on stronger yen
* European shares expected to open higher
* APAC ex-Japan, emerging market indices hit 2-yr highs
* Markets dismiss cyber attack threat as disruption appears
* S. Korea calls for analysis of N. Korea missile technology
* Oil jumps 1 pct on Saudi, Russia accord extending output
By Nichola Saminather
SINGAPORE, May 15 Resilient Asian stocks edged
up to a two-year high on Monday, shaking off threats from by a
ransomware attack that locked some 200,000 computers in more
than 150 countries at the weekend, a missile test by North
Korea, and weak U.S. data.
Oil prices jumped after Saudi Arabia's energy minister and
Russia's oil minister said at a joint briefing in Beijing that
they agreed output cuts should be extended to March 2018.
U.S. crude surged 1.6 percent to $48.61 a barrel.
Global benchmark Brent was also up 1.6 percent at
European stocks are also set to extend Friday's gains, with
financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting Britain's FTSE 100
and France's CAC 40 to open 0.1 percent higher,
and Germany's DAX to start the day up 0.2 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.3 percent to its highest level since June
MSCI's emerging markets benchmark also advanced
0.3 percent to a two-year high.
Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2 percent on a stronger
The weekend cyber attack, which slowed down after a security
researcher stumbled on a way to at least temporarily limit the
worm's spread, was expected to speed up on Monday when employees
returning to work turned on their computers.
But with little evidence of widespread disruption in the
region on Monday, and governments and businesses taking
precautions to contain the impact, investors appeared unalarmed,
at least for now.
"Initial reports suggest it was caught relatively early and
limited to older computers," said James Woods, global investment
analyst at Rivkin.
"We are seeing safe havens bid a little higher. Certainly
contributing to this was the launch of another missile test by
North Korea over the weekend," he added. "The Korean won has
weakened, which may suggest the test has traders a little on
North Korea said on Monday it had successfully tested a
newly developed mid-to-long range missile on Sunday aimed at
verifying its capability to carry a "large scale heavy nuclear
warhead." The missile landed in the sea 97 km (60 miles) south
South Korea's military said it needs further analysis on the
North's claim of technical advancement and that the possibility
of the isolated nation mastering missile re-entry technology is
North Korea is believed to be developing an intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear warhead
and reaching the U.S. mainland.
The Korean won weakened, with the dollar up 0.15
percent at 1,124.30 won on Monday. South Korea's KOSPI
climbed 0.1 percent.
Gold prices rallied 0.2 percent to $1,231.24 an ounce,
extending Friday's 0.3 percent gain.
U.S. Treasury yields dropped to 2.292 percent,
building on Friday's loss when they ended at 2.333 percent, down
from Thursday's close of 2.4 percent and their biggest one-day
drop in more than three weeks.
Chinese shares added 0.35 percent, after the
government soothed market fears of tighter regulation saying
bank risks were "completely controllable."
That reassurance, as well as stronger retail sales and
property investment data, helped offset weakness in factory
output and fixed-asset investment growth.
Hong Kong shares gained 0.5 percent.
Australian shares were down 0.2 percent.
On Friday, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial
Average closed lower after growth in retail sales and
consumer prices missed expectations, and worries deepened over
the health of department stores after weak earnings reports.
The dollar rose 0.1 percent to 113.39 yen, failing
to make up most of Friday's 0.5 percent loss.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of major trade-weighted peers, pulled back 0.1 percent
The euro was little changed on Monday at $1.093,
holding Friday's 0.7 percent gain.
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore and Eric Meijer)