Some Asian investors are betting that North Asian currencies such as the South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar will fare better than their Southeast Asian counterparts as the Fed pares its stimulus. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) .KS11 rose 1.2 percent, as fears about the impact of Fed policy on emerging markets eased.
"The market is responding well to the upbeat U.S. and European data, while concerns about India and Indonesia have eased," said Samsung Securities analyst Lim Soo-gyun.
DOLLAR EDGES HIGHER
The dollar .DXY rose about 0.1 percent against a basket of currencies to 81.551. On Thursday, it broke through initial resistance at 81.604, its 200-day moving average, to hit a one-week peak of 81.719. The dollar rose 0.3 percent against the Japanese currency to 98.96 yen after hitting 99.10 yen earlier on the EBS trading platform, its highest since August 5, while the euro slipped about 0.1 percent to $1.3349.
In commodities trading, copper prices added 0.1 percent to $7,330 a ton, supported by the Chinese manufacturing data that suggested demand from the world's second-biggest economy and top metals consumer could pick up.
Gold slipped slightly to $1,376.41 per ounce, headed for a small loss for the week. The precious metal was also buoyed by the China PMI but was at the same time pressured by upbeat global economic data and expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon taper its stimulus.
Brent crude prices rose 0.3 percent to $110.18 a barrel. Rising political tensions in the Middle East and North Africa have bolstered oil prices this week, even as reports of some Libyan ports readying for exports eased supply concerns.