Asian shares and the euro steadied on Friday as markets consolidated after recent sharp moves triggered by central banks' stimulus steps, with weak data giving no clear signs about the likelihood of another steep downturn in growth or a solid pickup.
World stocks fell on Thursday as manufacturing reports from the euro zone, China and the United States showed factory activity remained lackluster, evidence of sluggish growth globally.
In the past week the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan have launched further monetary easing packages, and the European Central Bank has outlined a scheme to help cap the borrowing costs of highly indebted euro zone members which request assistance.
"The market retains an attitude of buying risk on the dip. Central bank easing forces investors to take more risk," said Olivier Korber, derivatives strategist at Societe Generale in Paris, in a research note. "The period between Euphoria and economic rebound is typically one with range bound periods, where the market hunts for weak hands."
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> edged up 0.3 percent after slipping to its lowest in nearly a week on Thursday. Australian shares <.AXJO> was little changed and the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) <.KS11> rose 0.7 percent.
Tokyo's Nikkei stock average <.N225> opened up 0.3 percent. <.T>
U.S. manufacturing ended its weakest quarter of growth in three years this month, data showed on Thursday, while the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region shrank in September for a fifth straight month, though the pace of contraction lessened.
The dollar index <.DXY> measured against a basket of key currencies slipped from a one-week high of 79.66 reached on Thursday.
The euro steadied around $1.2976, rebounding from a one-week low of $1.29195 touched on Thursday.
"The single currency may likely face additional headwinds over the near-term as the debt crisis continues to drag on the real economy," said David Song, Currency Analyst at DailyFX.
Spain, which had been the main source of market jitters with its borrowing costs surging on worries about its refinancing ability and led to the ECB's bond-buying plan, raised funds above its target at Thursday's auctions.
Madrid has now secured 82 percent of its planned medium- and long-term borrowing for this year, but it faces a refinancing of 27.5 billion euros in October and needs another 10 billion euros to offset falling revenues, soaring unemployment and pension payments.
Spanish debts remain under pressure as the government hesitates to seek an international bailout, a condition for the ECB to buy Spanish bonds.
Greece continues its struggle to secure approval of restructuring plans from its global creditors in exchange for a bailout to keep the country solvent.
With central banks around the world keeping markets awash with funds, gold looked set to benefit from investors seeking a hedge against future inflationary risks.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,769.09 an ounce, below its highest since February 29 of $1,779.10 hit on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, open interest in U.S. gold futures surged to a one-year high, signaling that volatility could spike after an option expiration next week. Over the past 30 days, gold futures open interest has gained about 25 percent while prices have risen nearly $200, or 10 percent, in the past four weeks.
U.S. crude was up 0.4 percent to $92.82 a barrel while Brent inched up 0.2 percent to $110.26.
(Additional reporting by Ian Chua in Sydney; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)