Asian shares held firm and US stock futures edged higher in early trade on Friday as expectations of additional stimulus from the European Central Bank underpinned appetite for riskier assets, while the euro hovered near seven-month lows.
Benchmark share indexes in Japan, South Korea and Australia all rose around 0.2 percent, though the broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan was almost flat due to the dollar's strength.
US stock futures ESc1 rose 0.4 percent to their highest level since Nov. 9 after a market holiday on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day. Although the US holiday thinned global financial trade, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.9 percent on Thursday to end at three-month high, led by German shares.
The European Central Bank meets next Thursday and most in the market expect it to expand its asset purchase program and lower its deposit rate, the rate at which banks park excess funds with it. Traders are now speculating that the ECB could cut rates more than the previous market consensus of a 0.10 percentage point cut.