Asian Shares Advance As Inflation Worries Ebb
Asian stocks rose on Friday after the latest U.S. consumer and producer price data confirmed a slowdown in inflation. There is a broad sense among market participants that larger 75 basis point U.S. rate hikes are off the table for now.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1 percent to 3,084.28 after officials denied rumors that Beijing will be put into a Shanghai-style lockdown because of a persistent Covid-19 outbreak. Separately, Shanghai said it is aiming to reach zero-COVID at the community level in the next few days.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed surged 2.7 percent to 19,898.77, led by gains in tech giants and property developers.
Japanese shares posted strong gains, after having hit a two-month low in the previous session. The Nikkei 225 Index soared 2.6 percent to 26,427.65, marking its sharpest single-day rise since March 23.
Heavyweight SoftBank Group jumped 12.2 percent after saying it plans to take its British chip designer Arm public. Tokyo Electron added 5.5 percent after its full-year profit forecast beat estimates.
Meanwhile, Nissan Motor fell 2.9 percent after its fourth-quarter net profit missed analysts’ estimates.
Seoul stocks rose sharply to snap an eight-day losing streak as investors scooped up large-cap stocks such as Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Hyundai Motor.
The Kospi rallied 2.1 percent to settle at 2,604.24 after plunging more than 5 percent over the past eight sessions through Thursday.
Australian markets bounced back after a week of heavy selling on concerns over high inflation and COVID-19 lockdowns in China. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 1.9 percent to 7,075.10 — marking its best day since January 28.
Tech stocks outperformed, with WiseTech Global, Xero and Block Inc and Xero surging 7-15 percent. Miners, energy stocks and banks also rose on broad-based buying.
New Zealand shares ended flat, with the benchmark NZX-50 Ondex slipping marginally to close at 11,168.18 after the release of weak manufacturing data.
U.S. stocks seesawed before ending narrowly mixed overnight after wholesale prices showed another increase and initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose, raising more concerns about a potential pullback in spending that could crimp economic growth.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished marginally higher, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent and the Dow eased 0.3 percent.
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