The yen climbed on Friday as investors responded to news of the likely appointment of academic Kazuo Ueda as the next Bank of Japan governor.
The Japanese currency climbed 0.5 per cent to ¥130.9 to the dollar, as markets judged Ueda likely to mark a departure from the ultra-dovish policies of Haruhiko Kuroda, who is due to step down in April.
Brent crude was up 2.62 per cent to $86.75 a barrel after Russia said it would cut about 5 per cent of its monthly oil output in March in response to the price cap imposed by western nations.
In equity markets, the European Stoxx 600 lost 0.6 per cent in early trading, while Germany’s Dax fell 0.6 per cent. The French Cac 40 dipped 0.3 per cent.
German 10-year Bunds gained 0.06 percentage points, offering a yield of 2.37 per cent.
Investors were greeted on Friday with news that the UK had narrowly avoided a recession, despite output shrinking by more than expected in December. The UK is the only G7 economy expected to enter a recession this year. Growth in the fourth quarter was flat, below Bank of England expectations of 0.1 per cent.
Sterling experienced minor losses against the dollar, falling 0.02 per cent, while the FTSE 100 lost 0.1 per cent. UK gilt yields saw an uptick, with 10-year gilts gaining 0.09 percentage points to 3.38 per cent.
US futures contracts following the blue-chip S&P 500 were nearly flat on Friday, up 0.04 per cent, while the Nasdaq equivalent lost 0.03 per cent. The dollar index, which measures the US currency against a basket of six of its peers, dipped 0.2 per cent.
In Asia, the Hang Seng index dropped nearly 2 per cent, while the Chinese CSI 300 fell 0.6 per cent.
Read the full markets briefing.