Markets in Australia and Hong Kong remained closed after Monday’s Christmas holiday, and many financial centers in Europe will also be shut on Tuesday.
Last week, the U.S. Congress approved a tax code overhaul that was expected to give at least a short-term lift to already solid economic growth. They also pushed through a measure to fund the federal government through Jan. 19, averting agency shutdowns.
The market had a muted reaction to data released earlier which showed that Japan’s core consumer prices rose for the 11th straight month, up 0.9 percent year-on-year, and household spending jumped in November.
While the inflation rate remains distant from the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent target, the rise offered some hope that a steady economic recovery will gradually drive up prices.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged companies to raise wages by 3 percent or more next year, keeping up pressure on firms to spend their huge cash pile on wages to broaden the benefits of his “Abenomics” stimulus policies.
Minutes of the BOJ’s October meeting showed most members shared the view that the central bank should maintain its easy policy. The BOJ kept monetary policy steady last week and its governor reassured markets the central bank will lag well behind overseas peers in ending its ultra-easy policies.
Oil held above $58 a barrel as trading resumed following the Christmas holiday and after U.S. explorers refrained from adding rigs for a second week. Gold extended recent gains as silver also jumped. Bitcoin rallied as the biggest cryptocurrency attempted to shrug off a miserable five-day run.