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AKIPRESS.COM - Asian shares pulled higher on Friday, on track for a winning week, while the euro remained close to nine-month lows after downbeat data.
Euro zone bond yields dropped to record lows after Germany reported its economy unexpectedly shrank in the second quarter, raising expectations of more European Central Bank easing measures, Reuters said.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.2 percent, poised for a weekly gain over 2 percent.
Japan's Nikkei stock average edged down 0.1 percent, though it was still poised to gain over 3 percent for the week.
Some strategists said that the Japanese market's underperformance this year compared to other major markets is likely to make it appear as an attractive value play, particularly given the prospect of increased buying from the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund. The fund is expected to announce more allocations to domestic stocks later this year.
"When you think globally, the Japanese market falls behind its peers," said Hiromitsu Kamata, head of Japanese equity target department at Amundi Japan.
The Nikkei has dropped about 6 percent since the beginning of the year, lagging the S&P 500's 5.8 percent rise and a flat performance from the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.
On Wall Street, U.S. stocks rose on Thursday after a rise in jobless claims suggested the U.S. Federal Reserve will be in no hurry to hike interest rates, and after Russia's leader made conciliatory comments about Ukraine.