Dollar heads into 2018 on a weaker note, Asia stocks mixed

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The dollar suffered fresh pressure on Friday as traders cash in the recent gains fuelled by Donald Trump’s tax cuts, while Asian equities were on course to end a strong year in tepid fashion.

Asia’s biggest markets have enjoyed huge gains over the past year — with Hong Kong up more than a third and Tokyo 20 percent higher — fuelled by expectations that Donald Trump would push through business-friendly measures

And while he suffered a series of stumbles he managed to finish 2017 with one major legislative achievement — across-the-board tax cuts that include the slashing of corporate rates.

Focus is now on his programme for the next 12 months, with an infrastructure spending bill promised, though there are warnings of headwinds with his low poll ratings and mid-term elections in November that could see his Republicans lose the Senate.

However, despite the positive news from Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, a stronger economy and improving employment, the dollar has been unable to break away from its peers.

On Friday the euro was at one-month highs, while the pound was also in the ascendancy. Most high-yielding currencies including the Australian dollar, South Korean won and Indonesian rupiah were up. (AFP)

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