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Nikkei charges toward all-time high, dollar under pressure

Japan’s Nikkei charged toward an all-time high on Friday, helped higher by a buoyant Wall Street after a big fall in US retail sales revived the chance of a June rate cut, which in turn weighed on the dollar.

Nikkei surged 1.4% to 38,678 points, just within a whisker of the all-time high of 38,957 points hit in 1989 that marked the peak of Japan’s so called “bubble economy.”

The index is up 4.8% for the week, the third straight week of gains, bringing the year-to-date gains to a staggering 15.6%.

Elsewhere, Asian shares mostly tracked Wall Street higher. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3% and was headed for a 1.4% weekly gain.

Figures on Thursday showed that Japan and Britain slipped into recession at the end of last year, and US retail sales last month fell much more than expected. But the upshot of that could be relatively looser…

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