Nov 23 (Reuters) – 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
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
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan
was little changed, with a rise of 0.2 percent
in South Korean shares balanced by a similar percentage
decline in Australian stocks.
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