Investing.com - Asian shares rose on Friday with the Nikkei up as the dollar neared a multi-year high against the yen on sentiment that the Federal Reserve may start to taper its USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases as early as next week.
The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.41 in the morning session while the Shanghai Composite gained a slight 0.03% and the Hang Seng index lifted 0.43%.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5% on Friday.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended lower with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.66%, the S&P 500 index 0.38% lower, while the Nasdaq Composite index off 0.14%.
U.S. stocks took a noted dive earlier though they did recover some losses after the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in November, beating market expectations for a 0.6% increase.
Core retail sales, which are stripped of automobiles, rose 0.4%, well above forecasts for a 0.2% increase.
The data kept expectations strong that the Federal Reserve will soon decide to taper its bond purchases, possibly at its Dec. 17-18 policy meeting if not in early 2014.
Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless claims last week rose to a two-month high of 368,000, far surpassing expectations for an increase to 320,000 from the previous week's revised total of 300,000.
Markets shrugged off the news, attributing the increase to holiday volatility typical this time of year, while a budget deal underway in the U.S. Congress also sent stocks falling amid sentiments that fiscal uncertainties may fade and further convince the Fed the economy is in less need of monetary support.
European indices, meanwhile, finished lower on Thursday.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.64%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.43%, while Germany's DAX 30 fell 0.66%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.96%.
On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with data on producer price inflation.
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