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Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks struggled into the week’s end
  • Worries about US tac reform’s senate passage cast a pall on trade
  • An fairly upbeat Japanese Tankan survey wasn’t enough to grab market attention

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Asian markets were mostly lower Friday as the US Dollar weakened on increasing doubts over current tax reform plans.

Some Senators have said that they oppose the scheme, while others have said that they have yet to make a decision. Vice President Mike Pence delayed a Middle East trip as uncertainty grew. In an Asian session quite short of more local news this was enough to see the Nikkei slide 0.6%, with most other bourses also in the red. The Kospi stood out once again though, gaining thanks to its blue chips.

The US Dollar remained under pressure although selling was not sharp during Asian hours. The Japanese Yen reacted little to a solid if not terribly inspiring Tankan survey which formed the day’s local data highlight. The New Zealand Dollar was a notable outperformer as markets generally faded the US Dollar. The Euro was also in a tight spot thanks to a European Central Bank policy meeting Thursday which markets viewed as dovish.

Oil prices inched higher in a tighter market but gains were reportedly capped by the prospect of higher US shale supply entering the market in 2018. Gold prices edged up with the weaker US Dollar, but not to any great extent.

Still to come Friday are the US Empire manufacturing survey, industrial production data and Canadian existing home sales levels.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX