Asian shares hovered below their 10-year peak on Friday while investors viewed Chinese shares with caution after their big fall the previous day.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ticked down 0.1 per cent in early trade, led by 0.3 per cent fall in Australian shares. The MSCI index hovered still just 0.5 per cent below its 10-year peak hit earlier this week.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 fell 0.6 per cent after a market holiday on Thursday while US stock futures ESc1 were little changed after shortened trading on Thursday.
“Many markets have been hitting new highs so there should be some profit-taking and I wouldn’t worry too much. Still, in the very near term, we could be in a phase where patience is needed,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Although solid global economic growth and strong corporate earnings have underpinned shares in Asia and many other parts of the world, a tumble in mainland Chinese shares on Thursday caught some investors’ attention.
The CSI300 index .CSI300 fell 3.0 per cent on Thursday, its biggest decline in almost a year and a half, on concerns about rising Chinese bond yields.
In the currency market, the US dollar remained under pressure after the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting showed highlighted concern among some of the board members over persistently low inflation.
“The Fed funds futures market has rolled back expectations on future rate hikes a bit after the minutes. One key focus going forward would be Powell’s hearing in the Senate on Tuesday,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
The euro EUR= traded at $1.1846, near its one-month high of $1.1862 set on November 15. A clear break of that level could open the way for a test of its 2 1/2-year high near $1.21 touched in September.
The dollar fell to a two-month low of 111.07 yen on Thursday and last traded at 111.33 yen JPY=.
A weaker dollar saw the British pound staying near a six-week high against the dollar ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to Brussels later in the day for talk on Brexit.
US crude futures hovered near a two-year high hit in thin trade on Thursday on the shutdown of a major crude pipeline from Canada and a draw on fuel inventories.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 traded at $58.39 per barrel, near Thursday’s two-year intraday high of $58.58.
International benchmark Brent futures LCOc1 held firm at $63.42, up 0.2 per cent on the day.