(Bloomberg) -- Asian equities were poised for a cautious end to the week as investors assessed valuations following the rapid rise in global stocks this month and the enduring pandemic in parts of Europe and the U.S. Oil retreated amid rising tensions with OPEC+ members.Australian shares began Friday with declines and futures slipped in Japan and Hong Kong, indicating the MSCI Asia Pacific Index will claw back some of this month’s 12% surge. S&P 500 contracts edged lower. Earlier, the spreading pandemic tempered gains in European stocks, while U.S. markets were closed. Bitcoin steadied after sliding almost 10% on Thursday.Even with three successful vaccines on the table, sentiment remains fragile as the virus toll continues to rise in Europe and the U.S., leading German Chancellor Angela Merkel to call on Europe’s ski resorts to close this winter. AstraZeneca Plc is likely to conduct a further global trial of its vaccine after current studies raised questions, CEO Pascal Soriot said in an interview. The task of vaccinating the world’s population is rife with logistical problems, all while the virus gains ground and economic recoveries wobble.“Vaccine optimism continues to stir momentum going into December that could confront a slowing economy and liquidity difficulties,” said Ben Emons, managing director for global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors. “Yet, the expectation of a full reopening of the global economy remains firmly priced.”Political clarity has also driven risk assets this month, as President-elect Joe Biden continues his transition to power.President Donald Trump gave defiant Thanksgiving remarks at the White House Thursday, insisting falsely that he beat Biden and wavering on whether he would ever concede or attend Biden’s inauguration. He said if the electoral college confirms Biden’s victory, “they’ve made a mistake,” but that he would give up power and leave the White House.Global stocks remain on track for the best month on record, up 13%, and that’s lifted valuations to near the highest in about 20 years.Here are some key events coming up:U.S. stock market closes at 1 p.m. on Friday.The week ends with Black Friday, the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.Here are the main moves in markets:StocksS&P 500 futures dipped 0.2% as of 8:29 a.m. in Tokyo.Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.5%.Hang Seng futures lost 0.2%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.2%.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.1%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained less than 0.1%.The euro was little changed at $1.1910.The offshore yuan held at 6.5694 per dollar.The yen was at 104.26 per dollar.BondsAustralia’s 10-year yield remained at 0.91% in early trading.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude decreased 1.6% to $44.95 a barrel.Gold dipped 0.3% to $1,809 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.