Opening Market Wrap Dec 22,2017:`qua patet orbis’.

In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index eked out small gains on Friday as gains in banks and commodities trading houses offset weakness in pharmaceuticals, while Kobe Steel stumbled after it said senior executives were aware of its data tampering.

The Nikkei ended 0.2 percent higher at 22,902.76.

The broader Topix rose 0.4 percent to 1,829.08.  MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan was 0.5 percent higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 percent and Shanghai fell 0.1 percent.

Australian stocks advanced 0.15 percent.

South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.45 percent.

In Currency Markets the dollar edged up on Friday though it remained on track for weekly losses, while the euro fell after Catalan vote results indicated a victory for separatists in a blow to Madrid.

The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.1848 after falling as low as $1.1817 in the Asian morning session.

The dollar was steady on the day against the yen at 113.32 poised to gain 0.6 percent for the week.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.1 percent at 93.400.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was stronger, with Aussie up 0.17 percent at $0.7715.

The Kiwi held steady at $0.7020.

In Commodities Markets  oil prices on Friday fell away from some of its highest levels since 2015, weighed down by rising U.S. output and the expected January re-opening of the Forties pipeline in the North Sea.

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