Markets are relieved that the U.S. Congress has approved a deal to avert a "fiscal cliff", but analysts warn that investors now face a rocky two months ahead as negotiations over the debt ceiling begin.
Asian stocks have made hefty gains this year despite global economic uncertainty, but in the weeks ahead, analysts warn against a possible pull-back in equities if the U.S. is unable to avert the "fiscal cliff" – a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that could tip the world's largest economy into recession.
Chinese stocks have gained more than 11 percent in December after languishing in negative territory for most of 2012, prompting analysts to say 2013 could finally be the year for Chinese stocks to break out of the doldrums.
The yen fell to a two-year low on Thursday, continuing its rapid downtrend that started in the middle of last month. But analysts warn that the yen could end up firmer by the end of 2013 as the Federal Reserve will stay ahead of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) in monetary easing, which means the dollar will fall at a more rapid pace.
The Japanese yen has fallen about 6 percent over the past one month, and is expected to weaken further. As the weaker currency increases the Japanese economy's competitiveness, it's also likely to boost sentiment for Asian equities, said analysts.