Asian stock markets were mixed Friday as the dollar soared against Asian and other currencies following Fed boss Janet Yellen's Congressional commentary yesterday.
The dollar was recently up 0.42% against the yen at 110.7600 after Yellen talked up the state of the U.S. economy and said a rate rise could come relatively soon. She also said she'd serve out her full term at the helm of the central bank, following pre-election suggestions from President-elect Donald Trump that he'd replace her with a Republican. The dollar also rose against the pound, the euro and the Swiss franc, with the dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of peers, up 0.33%.
U.S. futures edged marginally higher, with Dow Jones futures up 0.02%, the S&P 500 mini down 0.03% and the Nasdaq 100 mini up 0.08%.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 officially entered bull territory, defined as a gain of 20% from a recent low. It closed up 0.59% at 17,967.41. The Topix rose 0.38% to 1,428.46. Exporters including Suzuki Motor (SZKMY) and Mazda Motor (MZDAY) led the gainers.
The CSI 300 fell 0.55% to 3,417.46 on mainland China. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng rose 0.46% to 22,365.06. Share prices of property developers slipped after National Bureau of Statistics data pointed to slowing growth in property prices in top Chinese cities.
But real estate company China Vanke rose 2.5% in Hong Kong after China Evergrande, China's second-largest property developer, bought more shares on the market after building its stake last week. It now owns just under 9.5%. Evergrande shares were little changed.