Shekel weakening after Yellen boosts dollar

Janet Yellen set to speak today

The tax reform speech by USA president Donald Trump in Indianapolis later on Wednesday - of which he had promised "the largest tax cut in the history of our country" - will be closely watched by investors given its possible repercussions for the dollar. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite inched higher by 0.06% and the Shenzhen Composite advanced 0.30%.

President Donald Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday that any USA military option would be "devastating" for Pyongyang, but said the use of force was not Washington's first option to deal with the country's ballistic and nuclear weapons program.

-U.S. data on durable-goods orders, GDP and personal spending later in the week will provide further clues as to the Fed's policy path. Indonesia and Malaysia were down marginally, while Vietnam slipped 0.2 percent.

The U.S. dollar index traded more than half a percent higher to 93.55, its highest in more than a month, according to Reuters.

Equity markets, which have benefited from low borrowing costs, anticipate a fourth rate hike in December, and possibly three more next year.

Overnight, gold prices fell on Tuesday as December rate-hike expectations jumped after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said that central bank should be "wary of moving too gradually" on interest rates to avoid the economy overheating.

The US dollar index is down by about 9% since Trump's inauguration in January.

In currency markets, the euro was down 0.4 percent to a one-month low below $1.1742, having fallen as low as $1.1732.

Evercore ISI strategist Stan Shipley said traders had been pricing in no interest rate increases for 2018 and were unsure about whether the US central bank would hike rates at its December meeting prior to this week.

The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are due to unveil a tax plan later on Wednesday. While analysts expect not much will be done immediately, with the absence of other headline-dominating news, it will still be the key event. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent to 20,267.05 and South Korea's Kospi dipped less than 0.1 percent to 2,372.57. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 came under pressure, with the index trading lower by 0.32%.

The US dollar is on the rise, extending its previous recovery.

The benchmark S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) pared gains to finish flat at 2,496.84.

In other news, USA crude oil inventories fell by 761,000 barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated Tuesday, compared with a 2.296 million barrels build expected.

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