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Japan's Nikkei share average settled 0.6% down at 19, 234. 62 points as market's sentiment was dimmed by a stronger yen. Investors also took caution of the weakened financials which were weighed down by the decline in U.S. bond yields after relatively dovish comments from a top U.S. Fed Reserve official.

The benchmark index ended negative for the week, declining by 0.7%. The Topix shed 0.4% to 1,544.54 while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 lost 0.5% to 13,855.47.

New York Fed Chief William Dudley's recent comments was perceived as more dovish compared to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's remarks before the Congress, who struck a hawkish tone.

Financial stocks lost ground after a recent rally due to the surge in U.S. yields earlier this week. The sector underperformed after the yields on the 10-year notes sank to 2.44% down from the 2.50% seen on Wednesday.

Toshiba Corp. posted a steep drop of 9.2% after rating agency S&P issued a warning that it could slash the group's rating if financial backing from lenders includes any form of loan restructuring. There were also concerns that the stock may be downgraded to the second section of Tokyo Stock Exchange if continues to underperform until the end of the business year.

Related news

Oil prices rallied on Thursday to pare some of the prior session's losses, propped up by declining exports by OPEC-member Venezuela.

Brent crude futures traded up 33 cents or 0.4 percent, to $75.69 per barrel. Meanwhile, U.S. WTI crude rose 33 cents or 0.6 percent at $65.11 per barrel. It finished the prior session 1.2 percent lower at $64.73 per barrel.

Venezuela, a member of the OPEC,is lagging in shipping crude to clients from its main oil export port for almost a month, according to Reuters data, as chronic postponements threaten to breach state-run PDVSA's crude supply contracts if they are not quickly delivered.

Tankers waiting to load over 24 million barrels of crude,almost as much as PDVSA sippined in April, are waiting in the country's main oil port. Reuters data showed that the backlog is so serious, PDVSA advised some customers it may announce force majeure, allowing it to temporarily stop contracts if they do not take on new delivery terms.

Venezuela's supply troubles come amid voluntary production cuts by OPEC which have been implemented since 2017 in order to rebalance the market and drive up prices. The cartel is slated to meet at its headquarters in Vienna, along with top producer but non-OPEC member Russia, on June 22 to talk about production policy.

Iran, a member of OPEC, said on Wednesday that a production boost was not up for consideration as the market was steady and prices were good.

The euro remained near two-week highs versus majority of its rivals on Thursday, on increasing bets the European Central Bank may announce it will taper its stimulus program by year-end as early as next week at the end of its policy meeting.

The central bank's chief economist Peter Praet, a close ally of President Mario Draghi, said the ECB would debate next week whether to stop bond purchases later this year.

Jens Weidmann, the head of Germany's central bank, said bets that the ECB would taper its bond-purchasing program by the end of this year was likely while his Dutch counterpart Klaas Knot said there was no reason to extend a quantitative easing program.

The hawkish comments boosted the euro, hitting a two-week high of $1.17955 on Wednesday. The common currency last traded at $1.1781, adding to weekly gains amounting to 1 percent.

The ECB has been weighing whether to finish the 2.55 trillion euro bond purchase program this year as the risk of deflation has passed.

The euro firmed against other currencies, reaching a two-week high of 1.640 Swiss franc and 129.83 yen.

Meanwhile, the dollar continued its recovery from a five-week trough of 108.`115 yen hit on May 29 and last traded at 110.15 yen, having reached a two-week high of 110.27 in late U.S. trade on Wednesday.

But persistent concerns regarding trade disputes could limit the dollar's strength versus the yen as U.S. President Donald Trump looks determined to clash with other Group of Seven leaders at their weekend summit.

The Australian dollar reached a one-and-a-half month high of 76.777 cents on Wednesday and last traded at 76.68 cents, partially propped-up by the nation's solid economic growth data released on Wednesday.

2018.06.07 02:04:00 UTC+00

Gold Edges Up on Weaker U.S. Dollar

Gold prices rose on Thursday, propped up by a weaker dollar amid ongoing worries regarding a trade war between the U.S. and its allies.

Spot gold traded 0.1 percent higher at $1,296.91 per ounce. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were almost unchanged at $1,301.30 per ounce.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six major currencies, declining 0.2 percent to 93.497.

The Trump administration is not retreating from the tough stance it has taken on trade, according to Larry Kudlow, the White House' top economic adviser said on Wednesday, setting a stage for a dispute with America's top allies at this week's G7 summit in Canada.

The euro remained near two-week highs against majority of its competitors on Thursday, on increasing bets the European Central Bank may announce it will unwind its stimulus programme by year-end as early as next week.

The ECB will discuss next week whether to exit bond purchases later this year, the bank's top chief economist said on Wednesday, a hawkish message seen girding investors for another reduction in stimulus.

Holdings of SPDR Gold trust declined 0.42 percent to 832.59 tonnes on Wednesday.

India's gold imports fell a fifth consecutive month n May to 48 tonnes as a rally in local prices to near their highest level in 21 months reduced retail purchases, initial data from GFMS and bank dealers showed.