GLOBAL MARKETS-Japanese shares rally, bitcoin shoots for the moon

GLOBAL MARKETS-Japanese shares rally, bitcoin shoots for the moon
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares rallied for a second session on Friday as investors awaited major economic data from China and the United States while marveling at the meteoric ascent of the markets new crypto-star, bitcoin.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 led the way again with an early gain of 0.9 percent, adding to Thursday's 1.45 percent bounce.

Australian stocks put on 0.4 percentwhile MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS edged up 0.1 percent.

Bidders were encouraged by a steadier performance on Wall Street, where the Dow .DJI rose 0.29 percent. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.29 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 0.54 percent.

Facebook (FB.O) climbed 2.3 percent and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) 1.2 percent, helping the S&P 500 end higher after losing ground for four straight sessions.

Investors in Asia were awaiting November trade numbers from China to gauge the pulse of global growth and the Asian giants demand for commodities.

The main event later will be U.S. non-farm payrolls, with investors looking for 200,000 new jobs in November and much talk wages might show some welcome strength.

Also on the radar are negotiations between the United Kingdom and Ireland on how to run their post-Brexit land border, where a deal could remove the last obstacle to opening free-trade talks with the European Union.

Speculation about an agreement saw sterling rebound sharply overnight to reach $1.3474 GBP=, having been as low as $1.3320 at one point.

It was one of only a few currencies to gain on the U.S. dollar, which was otherwise broadly firmer.

The U.S. currency cleared 113.00 yen to reach 113.11 JPY=, while the euro touched a two-week low at $1.1770 EUR=. Against a basket of currencies the dollar held firm at 93.786 .DXY.



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