Stocks in Australia and Japan eked out small gains at the end of a broadly negative week for Asian stocks, as the dollar edged toward a multiyear high against the yen.
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s forthcoming policy meeting, scheduled to finish on December 18, remained the main event on the horizon. After the U.S. posted a strong November labor report last week, expectations have increased for an imminent reduction of the central bank’s stimulus measures, which some think could start as early as next week.
As a result, the dollar strengthened 0.9% overnight against the yen and continued to push higher in Asian trading. Last at ¥103.53, the greenback was back within striking distance of the ¥103.74 high it reached in May.
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