* Asia ex-Japan, Nikkei set for weekly gains
* Europe shares poised for flat to lower start
* U.S. 2-year Treasury yield hits 6-1/2-yr high
* Oil slides ahead of OPEC meeting; gold retreat continues
By Nichola Saminather
SINGAPORE, Nov 25 Asian stocks advanced on
Friday as the Thanksgiving break in the United States helped
slow a relentless surge in the dollar that has sucked capital
out of most emerging markets.
European markets, however, are poised for a more lacklustre
start, with financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting
Britain's FTSE 100 to open 0.1 percent lower, and
Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 to be flat.
The respite for Asian assets too may be short-lived, with
U.S. Treasury yields resuming their climb after the holiday as
investors bet that President-elect Donald Trump will adopt
policies that increase spending and debt, as well as spur higher
growth and inflation.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
added 0.5 percent. It is set to end the week 1.7
percent higher, its biggest weekly gain in two months.
But it remains down 2.7 percent from its close on Nov. 8
before Trump's surprise election win. His protectionist campaign
promises are widely seen as negative for the region.
Emerging market stocks have also broadly taken a hit,
although the MSCI Emerging Markets index pared
losses to 0.2 percent on Friday. While the index is up 1.2
percent for the week, it remains 5.3 percent below its Nov. 8
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
a basket of six major global peers, edged down 0.1 percent to
101.60 on Friday, down from its Thursday peak of 102.05, the
highest level since March 2003.
The U.S. currency has been on a tear since Trump's win, and
strong U.S. manufacturing and consumer data this week have
bolstered the case for higher interest rates. The dollar index
has risen 0.4 percent this week, and 3.8 percent since Nov. 8.
"The trend is likely to remain with the U.S. (Federal
Reserve) poised to strike in December and market positioning for
U.S. President-elect Trump to fulfill his fiscal and tax cut
plans," Singapore-based UOB Group's global economics and markets
research team wrote in a note on Friday.
The expectations are triggering a dramatic surge in bond
yields, which is pulling capital out of emerging markets.
The two-year U.S. Treasury yield jumped to a 6-1/2-year high
of 1.17 percent on Friday. It was at 1.1506 percent as of 0540
The 10-year yield, which hit a 16-month high of 2.417
percent this week, was at 2.3915 on Friday.
The dollar's pullback on Friday took some pressure off other
currencies, which have been pummelled this month by its
After touching an eight-month high earlier in the session,
the dollar was flat at 113.35 yen. Still, it is poised for a 2.2
percent jump this week.
The Nikkei, which earlier hit its highest level
since January, edged back to close 0.26 percent above Thursday's
close as the dollar moderated. The index is on track for a
weekly gain of 2.1 percent, and is up almost 6.9 percent since
before the U.S. election.
Analysts also expect Japanese consumer prices, which fell
for their eighth straight month in October, to rebound as the
weaker yen pushes up import costs.
The dollar's retreat also helped the euro, which
has been battered by the greenback's recent surge and
nervousness ahead of Italy's constitutional referendum on Dec.
The common currency rose 0.2 percent to $1.057, after
slumping to the lowest level since March 2015 against the dollar
on Thursday. Its recovery pared losses for the week so far to
Wall Street was closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving
holiday and trading will end early on Friday.
European stocks ended on a positive note, with the Stoxx 600
index gaining 0.3 percent at the close.
Chinese shares rose, with the blue chip CSI 300 index
up about 0.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite
reversed earlier losses to climb 0.1 percent. Hong Kong's Hang
Seng added 0.4 percent.
Oil prices slipped as investors awaited next week's meeting
of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
for clarity on proposed output caps, but remained on track for
"Consolidation ahead of major events are no surprise and we
are expecting this with what could be reckoned as the most
important event of the year for crude oil prices next week - the
November 30 OPEC meeting," Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG
in Singapore, wrote in a note.
U.S. crude futures slid 0.7 percent to $47.64 a
barrel, but were set to clock a weekly increase of 4.3 percent,
building on last week's 5.3 percent jump.
Global benchmark Brent crude pulled back 0.9 percent
to $48.58, shrinking its gains for the week to 3.7 percent.
Gold remained under pressure, plunging to its lowest
level since February. It retreated 0.4 percent to $1,179.7 an
ounce on Friday, down 2.5 percent this week.
It has plunged a whopping 7.6 percent since its close before
the U.S. election results were announced.
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Kim Coghill and