TOKYO Asian shares dipped on Friday but remained on track for weekly gains while the dollar was poised for a losing week, as investors weighed whether President-elect Donald Trump would stress growth-boosting steps when he takes office.On Wall Street, major indexes finished lower a day after Trump failed to elaborate on his economic stimulus plans in his first news conference since his Nov. 8 election victory.MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.2 percent, after rising to its highest levels since late October in the previous session. It was up 1.8 percent for the week.Japan's Nikkei stock index .N225 rose 0.4 percent, on track to shed 1.2 percent for the week.Many investors remained hopeful that markets will get a lift from a wave of financial deregulation that could follow Trump's inauguration, including a rollback of some of the Dodd-Frank financial reform that Congress enacted after the financial crisis and bank bailouts."Market weakness at the end of the week may continue, but anticipation of a Dodd-Frank repeal possibility spurs an optimistic outlook," said Hiroki Allen, chief representative of Superfund Japan in Tokyo.
But this week's stronger yen also dented demand for Japanese shares. The dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 114.86 yen JPY= after skidding as low as 113.75 on Thursday, its lowest since Dec. 8. It was on track to shed 1.8 percent for the week.The dollar wallowed around five week lows against a currency basket, even as the dollar index .DXY edged up 0.2 percent to 101.52. It was down 0.7 percent for the week.
The dollar index scaled 14-year peaks this month, on speculation that Trump's policies would spur growth and inflation, and prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace than previously expected. The euro was steady at $1.0612, well above last week's 14-year low of $1.0340 EUR= and poised to gain 0.7 percent for the week. Crude oil prices extended gains, bolstered by the weaker dollar as well as news that Saudi Arabia has cut oil output to its lowest in almost two years and plans further reductions. [O/R]
Brent crude LCOc1 was trading 1.8 percent at $56.11 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 was up slightly at $53.03. Spot gold XAU= was nearly flat at $1,194.90 an ounce, after it surged to seven-week highs above $1,200. [GOL/] (Reporting by Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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Updated Date: Jan 13, 2017 07:00 AM