* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
By Saikat Chatterjee
LONDON, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The Japanese yen gained half a percent against the dollar on Friday as investors cut back positions in risky assets after a volatile week in global stock markets and as concerns grow about a trade dispute between United States and China.
Traditional barometers of caution in the currency markets such as the yen and the Swiss franc are poised for a big week of gains as volatile markets in thin year-end trading have marred appetite for risk.
Weak economic data also weighed, with Japanese industrial output contracting in November and partially reversing gains registered in the previous month, indicating headwinds for the global economy.
“The broad environment is a bit more tentative for risk taking and the dollar looks to be struggling thanks to volatile U.S. stocks,” said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at MUFG in London.
The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, fell by around 0.15 percent to 96.34, after losing 0.5 percent overnight.
Data also showed consumer confidence at its weakest in more than three years in the United States, as well as an unexpected drop in industrial profits in China, a stark reminder for investors of the deteriorating global growth outlook. and
The yen rose half a percent against the dollar to 110.43 yen. The Swiss franc strengthened 0.2 percent and is poised for its biggest weekly gain in nearly three months. (Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Catherine Evans)