Asia stocks set to end year at record high


Asian stocks headed for a record close on the fi­nal trad­ing day of 2017, cap­ping the best year since the post-global fi­nan­cial cri­sis re­bound of 2009. Com­modi­ties also looked to go out on a high, but not so the dol­lar.

The MSCI Asia Pa­cific In­dex is sit­ting on an an­nual gain of al­most 29 per­cent, backed by the re­gion's world­beat­ing growth and a go-slow ap­proach by ma­jor cen­tral banks in with­draw­ing record mon­e­tary stim­u­lus. Ja­pa­nese stock bench­marks dipped at the close, though held near their high­est lev­els since the early 1990s. Hong Kong shares edged higher, while Aus­tralia's fell. U.S. eq­uity fu­tures were lit­tle changed.

The dol­lar headed for its big­gest weekly drop since the end of Novem­ber as traders put the pas­sage of the U.S. tax-cut pack­age in the rear-view mir­ror. The euro traded around its high­est since late Novem­ber, and the yen ex­tended gains. Oil traded above $60 a bar­rel, and the Bloomberg Com­mod­ity In­dex hit its high­est since early last month. Bit­coin stead­ied above $14,000, ap­pear­ing to form a bot­tom af­ter the sell-off from last week's record.

A smat­ter­ing of in­fla­tion read­ings from Europe, in­clud­ing sev­eral Ger­man states, a na­tion­wide gauge for Ger­many and one for Spain.Rus­sia re­ports on re­vised GDP and on con­sumer prices. China re­leases its of­fi­cial ver­sion of the De­cem­ber man­u­fac­tur­ing PMI on Dec. 31.

Ja­pan's Topix In­dex fell 0.1 per­cent as of the close in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Av­er­age also dropped 0.1 per­cent. Aus­tralia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 per­cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng In­dex was up 0.2 per­cent at 2:08 p.m. lo­cal time. The Shang­hai Com­pos­ite was 0.2 per­cent higher. Seoul's ex­change was closed Fri­day. Fu­tures on the S&P 500 In­dex were lit­tle changed af­ter the un­der­ly­ing

gauge rose 0.2 per­cent Thurs­day, when the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age had a record close.

The Bloomberg Dol­lar Spot In­dex was lit­tle changed early Fri­day, head­ing for a weekly slide of 0.8 per­cent. The Ja­pa­nese yen was at 112.71, up 0.1 per­cent on the day. The euro traded at $1.1953

The British pound was at $1.3464. Aus­tralia's dol­lar bought 78.07 U.S. cents, trad­ing around its high­est since late Oc­to­ber. The yield on 10-year Trea­suries was 2.43 per­cent Fri­day, about 5 ba­sis points lower than last week's close. Aus­tralian 10-year gov­ern­ment bond yields fell to 2.63 per­cent, down about 8 ba­sis points on the week.

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