Asian stocks crept up on Thursday following another steady performance by Wall Street shares which hovered near record highs, while the euro clung to modest gains after rebounding from 13-month lows. The Australian dollar rose to a three-week high versus the U.S. dollar after second quarter business investment data beat forecasts.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 0.5 percent, weighed by overnight gains in the yen. The S&P 500 crept up to another record closing high overnight, with U.S. stocks supported by brighter prospects for the economy.
The euro received some reprieve after three sessions of losses as feverish speculation of an imminent round of easing by the European Central Bank was tempered for now. Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that the ECB is unlikely to take new policy action next week unless inflation figures on Friday show the euro zone sinking significantly towards deflation.