By Lisa Twaronite
TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares gained in early trading on Friday, on track for a weekly rise, after Wall Street cheered a rad reading for producer price inflation that chilled expectations of a Federal Reserve rate hike.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was 0.3 percent higher, poised to gain approximately 1 percent for the week. Japan's Nikkei stock index <.N225> was up 0.5 percent, set for a 1.5 percent weekly rise.
p> On Wall Street, all three major indexes gained more than one percent, & the S&P 500 <.SPX> closed at a record.
A spate of U.S. economic data painted an improving employment picture, yet subdued producer price inflation quashed bets that the U.S. central bank would raise interest rates sooner rather than after this year.
"We never expected the Fed to tighten next month yet we were hoping that they would set the stage for a move in September." said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York.Â
"However if data continues to miss, they may refrain from signaling a alter in monetary policy three months forward," she said in a note to clients.
Investors awaited more U.S. data after in the session on Friday, including April industrial production & the University of Michigan's preliminary May reading on consumer sentiment. [ECONUS]
The dollar was treading water after sinking to a nearly five-month low on Thursday against a basket of rival currencies.
The dollar index <.DXY> fell as low as 93.133, its lowest since late January, pressured by a resurgent euro, which scaled a nearly three-month peak of $1.1445 on Thursday. It last stood at $1.1398, down approximately 0.1 percent on the day.
Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar was buying 119.24 yen , slightly up on the day.
Crude oil futures edged down, with U.S. June crude shedding approximately 0.2 percent on the day to $59.78 a barrel, after dropping overnight on supply glut fears.
Spot gold was on track for a weekly rise of more than 2 percent yet was flat on the day at $1,221.20 an ounce after hitting a three-month high overnight as the greenback's weakness made it more appealing to investors holding other currencies.