Global Markets: Asian shares drift, Basel ruling supports banks
new bank liquidity rules.
Commodity prices mostly held firm, supported by data showing the U.S. economy continuing on a path of slow but steady recovery that propelled Wall Street stocks to a five-year high.
The dollar sat close to a two-and-a-half-year high against the yen as investors adjusted to the possibility of more monetary stimulus in 2013 from the Bank of Japan and less from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan , which had reached its highest level since August 2011 on Thursday, was flat, while Tokyo's Nikkei share
average retreated after touching a 23-month high in early trade to stand down 0.2 percent.
"Investors have been carefully waiting for the timing to take profits as they believed the market can't keep rising," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho
The MSCI benchmark's financial sector sub-index gained 0.5 percent after the Basel Committee of banking supervisors agreed on Sunday to give banks four more
years and greater flexibility to build up cash buffers so they can use some of their reserves to help struggling economies.
HSBC Holdings Hong Kong shares rose 1.3 percent, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp gained 0.6 percent. Shares in Japanese exporters were supported by a weaker yen, which traded around 88.05 to
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