Asian shares, oil and gold rose on Friday while safe-haven currencies the dollar and yen withered, as investors were comforted by recent central bank steps to support the global economy in the face of weak data.
A 0.3 percent rise in U.S. stock futures suggested a firm Wall Street start and financial spreadbetters expected London's FTSE 100, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX to open about 0.5 percent higher.
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1 percent and was set for a weekly gain of 1 percent.
The index was led higher by a 1.2 percent rise in telecoms and technology sub-indexes as Apple Inc's iPhone 5 hit stores around the globe on Friday. Mobile carriers reported record demand.
Taiwan-based Apple supplier Hon Hai rose 0.5 percent while and Largan Precision fell 0.2 percent.
Australian shares gained 0.3 percent, with energy stocks rising off the back of higher oil prices.
Hong Kong shares increased 0.9 percent and Tokyo's Nikkei stock average added 0.8 percent.
"The general consensus at the moment is that any major dips in the market will be supported by the fact that central banks are happy to act," said Stan Shamu, market analyst at IG Markets.
Reflecting a shift of money into riskier assets, the dollar index measured against a basket of key currencies fell 0.2 percent. Spot dollar dropped 0.1 percent against the yen to 78.14.
The euro added 0.2 percent against the dollar to $1.2997 and rose against the yen and commodities-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar. The Aussie, which is often used to gauge investor risk sentiment, gained 0.4 percent to $1.0478.
"Key global stock indices, while pausing from their rally, generally remain at high levels, suggesting that markets have not entirely turned against risk," Junya Tanase, chief FX strategist at JPMorgan in Tokyo.
"Major central banks pursuing aggressive monetary easing have reduced tail risks for the global economic growth and the euro zone debt crisis, raising the probability for dollar and the yen to weaken and support the cross yen," he said.
Manufacturing reports from the euro zone, China and the United States on Thursday showed factory activity remained lacklustre, evidence of sluggish growth globally.
This month marked the end of the weakest quarter of growth in three years for U.S. manufacturing and jobless benefit claims held near two-month highs last week, suggesting the U.S. economic recovery is struggling to gain traction.
The euro zone's manufacturing purchasing managers' index showed a slight recovery this month, but the downturn in the services sector steepened at the fastest pace since July 2009. China's manufacturing activity contracted for the 11th month in a row, but some sub indexes showed signs of stabilising, an HSBC flash PMI showed.
CENTRAL BANK LIQUIDITY HELPS
In the past week, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan have announced further monetary easing steps, and the European Central Bank recently outlined a scheme to help cap the borrowing costs of highly indebted euro zone members which request assistance.
"In this QE (quantitative easing) environment, real asset-related stocks are going to be more valued," said Jackson Wong, vice-president for equity sales at Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong, referring to Hong Kong property stocks.
With central banks around the world keeping markets awash with funds, gold looked set to benefit as a hedge against future inflationary risks.
Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,772.61 an ounce, nearing its highest since Feb. 29 of $1,779.10 hit on Wednesday.
Crude futures prices climbed 0.8 percent to $93.15 a barrel, while Brent rose 0.4 percent to $110.45.
Asian credit markets firmed slightly, narrowing the spread on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index by 2 basis points.
Spain, which had been the main source of market jitters this week over its weak financial position, raised more funds than planned in an auction on Thursday, but relief may be short lived.
Madrid has to refinance 27.5 billion euros in October and needs an additional 10 billion euros to offset the fallout from austerity measures.
Greece continues its struggle to secure approval of restructuring plans from its global creditors in exchange for a bailout to keep the country solvent.
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