Asian stock markets rise; greenback drops

On Friday, Asian markets were positively affected by the gains recorded in the U.S. stock market, in particular the milestone reached by the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Markets in the area enjoyed trading at or around multi-year peaks in the earlier session, with Japan’s index reaching a 23 year peak while the Hang Seng index hit a ten year high.

Nikkei 225 index of Japan rose 0.61 percent on early trade, prolonging yields of over 3 percent seen in the prior session. The rally was felt in most sectors, including financials and automotive manufacturers. Blue chips were mainly higher on the day. Sony increased 2.27 percent, SoftBank Group rose 0.06 percent while Toyota climbed 1.77. In Korea, Kospi increased 0.46 percent. Samsung Electronics rose 0.55 percent prior to the company’s fourth quarter guidance. 

Euro close to a three year high against the dropping dollar

The euro was hovering close to a three year high versus the sinking greenback on Friday. In the Asian currency market, growing investors' risk appetite positively affected the yen.

The euro was stable at $1.2069 following its 0.45 percent rise overnight. The common currency, partly backed up by the shrinking US-euro zone debt yield expands, has increased 0.6 percent this week. Moreover, the euro gained its latest lift overnight since data revealed that the euro zone economy ended the year 2017 with the most robust growth in about seven years. It should be noted that a rise over $1.2092 would bring the European currency to its highest level since Jan of the year 2015.  

The greenback’s weakness was emphasized overnight as the U.S. currency failed to pull support from the stronger than expected jobs report. Based on the data from ADP Research Institute, U.S. private employers opened 250,000 jobs in December, considered to be the largest monthly increase since the month March. The greenback index which monitors the dollar versus a basket of other prominent currencies was flat at 91.837 at 8:35 a.m. HK/SIN.

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