Asian shares edged up on Friday on expectations a deal will eventually be reached to avoid a US fiscal crisis, but investors wary about taking big positions before the year-end were likely to take profits on the rises and buy on dips.
Investors will also be looking at data from Asia on Friday and Saturday for signs that global growth deterioration may be slowing down.
Japan's industrial output unexpectedly rose 1.8 percent in October, up for the first time in four months, government data showed on Friday, suggesting the impact of the global slowdown and a diplomatic row with China may have run their course.
Later on Friday, India will report its third-quarter gross domestic product at 0530 GMT and China will release the official manufacturing PMI for November on Saturday.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1 percent on Friday, after rising 1.1 percent to close at its highest level in nearly nine months on Thursday.
Australian shares gained 0.5 percent to a fresh three-week high, helped by firmer base metals prices and a higher close on Wall Street.South Korean shares were down 0.1 percent."Concerns about the fiscal cliff linger, but investors still expect a budget deal to be reached by the end of this year.
Today's shares will fare well," Lee Jeong-do, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp said of Seoul shares.Japan's Nikkei stock average opened 0.5 percent higher, tracking higher global shares overnight and also drawing support from an ongoing weak yen.
The dollar was steady against the yen at 82.13, not very far from a 7-1/2-month high of 82.84 yen hit last week."The market's mood is still positive, but the index has reached a level where investors want to take a break until there are more signs that these issues will be resolved," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.Miura added that Japanese investors may become sellers when
the Nikkei reaches the 9,500-mark, while foreigners may chase the market higher.Financial markets swung around on Thursday after comments by US lawmakers dampened optimism that an agreement would be reached to avoid a series of tax hikes and spending cuts which could put the world's biggest economy back into recession.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up 1.1 percent on Thursday, its highest closing level since July 2011. The index, led by mining stocks, rose on growing optimism a deal will be reached to avoid growth-sapping austerity action.U.S. stocks and