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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares slip, dollar on track for losing wk as Trump effect fades
January 13, 2017 / 7:11 AM / in 9 months

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares slip, dollar on track for losing wk as Trump effect fades

* European bourses expected to open higher

* Wall Street slips as Trump fails to offer economic plan details

* Dollar index pulls away from last week’s 14-year highs

By Lisa Twaronite

TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Asian shares dipped on Friday but were on track for weekly gains while the dollar was poised for a losing week, with investors disappointed that President-elect Donald Trump failed to elaborate on stimulus plans at a news conference two days ago.

CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson expects European bourses to post opening gains.

But investors have started to price in the potential that the “reflation scenario may well come up short,” Hewson said, as they reassess what to expect from Trump in the coming weeks.

Investors largely shrugged off trade data from China. December exports fell by a more-than-expected 6.1 percent from a year earlier, while imports beat forecasts slightly, government data released on Friday showed.

As the world’s largest trading nation, China could come under pressure from protectionist measures this year if Trump follows through on his campaign pledges to brand it a currency manipulator and impose heavy tariffs on the country’s imports.

“The trend of anti-globalization is becoming increasingly evident, and China is the biggest victim of this trend,” customs spokesman Huang Songping told reporters.

“We will pay close attention to foreign trade policy after Trump is inaugurated president,” Huang said. Trump will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent, after rising to its highest levels since late October in the previous session. It was up 1.9 percent for the week.

China’s benchmark CSI300 index was slightly lower in afternoon trading, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.4 percent.

South Korean shares shed 0.5 percent, roiled by an influence-peddling scandal that could topple President Park Geun-hye. Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee left the South Korean special prosecutor’s office early on Friday, more than 22 hours after arriving for questioning on bribery suspicions.

On Wall Street, major indexes finished Thursday lower, chilled by Trump’s failure to address economic policy plans at his first news conference since winning the Nov. 8 election.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index finished up 0.8 percent, though it still ended the week down 0.9 percent.

Many investors remained hopeful that markets will get a lift from a wave of financial deregulation that could follow Trump’s inauguration, including a rollback of some of the Dodd-Frank financial reform measures that Congress enacted after the financial crisis and bank bailouts.

“Market weakness at the end of the week may continue, but anticipation of a Dodd-Frank repeal possibility spurs an optimistic outlook,” said Hiroki Allen, chief representative of Superfund Japan in Tokyo.

Still, this week’s stronger yen dented demand for Japanese shares. The dollar was flat at 114.75 yen after skidding as low as 113.75 on Thursday, its lowest since Dec. 8. It was on track to shed 1.8 percent for the week, with some investors saying the yen’s rise has room to run and others suggesting it might be close to a top.

“It is unlikely that the yen strengthens further against the dollar,” Yukio Ishizuki, FX strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. “The U.S. Treasuries yield is expected to rise considering rising U.S. inflation expectations.”

The yields on 10-year and 30-year Treasury notes had touched their lowest levels since November on Thursday before retaking some lost ground, and were modestly higher in Asia. The 10-year yield stood at 2.367 percent, compared with Thursday’s U.S. close of 2.361 percent.

The dollar wallowed around five-week lows against a currency basket, even as the dollar index edged up slightly to 101.37. It was down 0.8 percent for the week.

The dollar index had scaled 14-year peaks this month, on speculation that Trump’s policies would spur growth and inflation, and prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace than previously expected.

The euro inched 0.1 percent higher to $1.0628, well above last week’s 14-year low of $1.0340 and poised to gain 0.9 percent for the week.

Crude oil prices extended gains, bolstered by the weaker dollar as well as news that Saudi Arabia has cut oil output to its lowest in almost two years and plans further reductions.

Brent crude rose 0.1 percent to $56.04 a barrel, while U.S. crude was up slightly at $53.02.

Spot gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,195.16 an ounce, as investors locked in gains on its overnight surge to seven-week highs above $1,200.

London copper reversed earlier gains and slipped 0.5 percent to $5,819 a tonne. (Additional reporting by Yuzuha Oka in Tokyo, and Lusha Zhang, Elias Glenn, Sue-Lin Wong and Kevin Yao in Beijing; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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