Asian shares surrendered earlier gains while the dollar remained under pressure on Thursday, facing growing expectations that the US Federal Reserve’s impending stimulus reduction might be smaller than some had believed. The waning likelihood of an immediate US military strike on Syria also continued to undermine the dollar as diplomatic efforts to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control intensified. European stocks are seen edging up, as investors bet euro zone industrial production data due during the session will confirm the region’s economic recovery is on track. Financial spreadbetters expect Britain’s FTSE 100 to open around 2 points higher, or up 0.03%; Germany’s DAX to open 23 points higher, or up 0.3%; France’s CAC 40 to open 7 points higher, or up 0.2%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.2%. A stronger yen and downbeat economic data helped push Japan’s Nikkei stock average down 0.3%. While the Nikkei is still up nearly 40% so far this year, making it the top performer among major developed markets in local currency terms, although some foreign investors remain sceptical on the country’s ability to sustain long-term growth. Data released earlier on Thursday showed Japan’s core machinery orders were unexpectedly flat in July, a weak spot in a run of strong recent data and a reminder that firms are still not sufficiently confident of the economy’s recovery to aggressively increase capital expenditure.