report, analysts said the market reaction highlighted the sensitivity of investors to the possibility of Summers taking over the Fed. Investors say Summers might tighten monetary policy faster than the other main candidate, Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen.
Asked about the Nikkei story, a White House spokeswoman said Obama had not made his decision about the Fed job. MSCI's measure of global shares .MIWD00000PUS rose 0.05 percent and its emerging markets index . MSCIEF fell 0.4 percent.
European equities advanced for a second straight week and set a 3-1/2-month high, with merger and acquisition activity in the healthcare and media sectors underpinning the market. The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 leading European shares rose 0.24 percent to close at 1,250.26.
Gold fell 1 percent on Friday and almost 6 percent for the week, its biggest weekly loss since the second to last week of June.
U.S. gold futures for December settled down $22 at $1,308.60 an ounce.
Spot gold last traded just below break-even at $1,318.86 an ounce.
"As tensions with Syria cool down, the risk premium that had quickly pushed the gold market sharply higher is now being taken off very quickly," said Sean McGillivray, head of asset allocation at Great Pacific Wealth Management.
The dollar weakened against the euro and yen, while the yield on benchmark Treasuries fell, as investors adjusted positions ahead of the Fed meeting. The dollar was down 0.01 percent against a basket of major currencies .DXY and while 10-year U.S. Treasury yields fell to 2.8921 percent, up 3/32 in price.
"In the coming months, given that the new Fed chairman starts in January, the Summers effect, if it is announced, could be as dominant" as the Fed's tapering decision, said Mike Gallagher, managing director of IDEAglobal.
Gallagher said of a Fed tapering decision and the prospect of Summers becoming chairman could set 10-year Treasury yields on a course toward 3.5 percent by year's end. Such a move would hit other markets hard, as others expect the benchmark 10-year yield, which moves inversely to the price of the bond, to remain around 3 percent.
A successful Summers nomination is far from certain, and any appointment must