SINGAPORE: Asian shares marked time on Friday but were on course for a weekly gain of nearly 2 percent, after manufacturing surveys from China and the United States raised hopes that the global growth outlook is improving at last.
The euro was also enjoying a positive week, despite data on Thursday pointing to the euro zone sliding into its deepest recession since 2009, with the currency standing up around 1 percent on last Friday's close on optimism that a funding deal for debt-choked Greece will ultimately be agreed.
Activity was subdued across financial markets on Friday, with exchanges in Japan and the United States closed for holidays.
The MSCI index was up around 1.9 percent on the week.
The euro eased about 0.1 percent to around $1.2870 and was steady versus the yen, not far below a six-and-a-half month high against the Japanese currency scaled in the previous session.
Thursday's HSBC flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for China, which showed expansion in the factory sector accelerating for the first time in 13 months, gave a broad lift to riskier assets such as commodities, with oil, copper and gold all on course for weekly gains. - Reuters
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