Euro rises ahead of bailout meeting
The euro rose to its highest level in three weeks before the region's finance ministers meet to discuss unlocking bailout funds for Greece.
The euro advanced 0.2 per cent to 1.2906 against the dollar at 8.10am in London after touching $1.2911.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 per cent, heading for its biggest weekly gain in more than nine months.
Standard and Poor's 500 Index futures gained 0.3 per cent in the US, where markets were closed yesterday.
The Treasury 10-year yield rose one basis point to 1.69 per cent and the dollar fell against most of its peers.
Euro-area finance ministers will meet November 26 to discuss Greek aid after leaders failed to agree the bloc's next seven-year budget at a summit in Brussels.
Data today may show German business confidence fell to the lowest level in almost three years.
The Stoxx 600 has rallied 3.4 per cent this week as US and China data added to signs the world's two largest economies are on the mend.
"Overall market activity is subdued following the holiday in the US and as investors wait for a solution to Greece's debt problem," Monthol Junchaya, chief investment officer at Bangkok-based One Asset Management, which manages about $2.3 billion of assets, said by phone today.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index climbed 0.7 per cent, led by a 1.9 per cent rally in technology companies.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the world's largest contract maker of chips, jumped 4.6 per cent to a record in Taipei.
Samsung Electronics rose 1.4 per cent in Seoul to its highest ever to become the world's 15th most-valuable company.
Taiwan's Taiex Index surged 3.1 per cent, the most in 11 months, after the Central News Agency cited finance minister Chang Sheng-ford as saying the island's state-backed banks and funds should buy local stocks at lows.
European officials will continue work on an updated aid package for Greece into this weekend in preparation for next week's meeting.
Divisions between rich and poor countries flared over the European Union's next seven-year budget, leading German Chancellor Angela Merkel to rule out an accord until the new year.