Asian shares took a breather on Friday, hovering just below 1-1/2-year highs as investors braced for a potentially wobbly session after US President Donald Trump called China "grand champions" of currency manipulation.
Over the past month or so, financial markets have been buffeted by rising protectionism under the Trump administration, and the President's latest comments on China does little to raise confidence on trade relations between the world's two biggest economies.
The offshore yuan stood flat at 6.8476 per dollar. In onshore trade, the yuan fell 6.6 percent last year in its biggest drop in over 20 years. All eyes are on the Chinese markets which open shortly.
Traders have bet on tax cuts, less regulation and more infrastructure spending from Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress to bolster the US economy.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday laid out an ambitious schedule to enact tax relief for the middle class and businesses by August, but added the Trump administration was still studying a border tax.
Wednesday's Federal Reserve minutes, which showed that there was less urgency among voting members to raise interest rates, have helped to drive down U.S. Treasuries yield and the dollar.
The 10-year US Treasuries yield hit a two-week low of 2.372 percent. The dollar slipped to 112.55 yen, also a two-week low, on Thursday and last stood at 112.69 yen.