Asian markets mostly gained in early trading Friday, after yet more record highs on Wall Street.
was about flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
gained 1.2%. The Shanghai Composite
advanced 0.7% while the Shenzhen Composite
edged up 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi
inched up 0.5%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan
rose, while stocks were little changed in Malaysia
. Australia’s S&P ASX 200
Among individual stocks, SoftBank
and Yahoo Japan parent Z Holdings
advanced in Tokyo trading, while Fast Retailing
and pharmaceutical company Otsuka Holdings
declined. In Hong Kong, property developer Country Garden
and casino operators Galaxy Entertainment
and Sands China
surged in South Korea, and Taiwan Semiconductor
rose in Taiwan. Beach Energy
fell while BHP
gained in Australia.
U.S. stocks returned from the Christmas holiday and powered higher again Thursday, helped by reports of record year-end retail sales. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index
closed at 9,000 for the first time ever, closing above 9,022. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
and the S&P 500
closed at record highs as well.
European markets will reopen Friday after a two-day Christmas holiday.
Investors welcomed President Donald Trump’s comment that an interim “Phase 1” trade deal was “getting done.” Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would hold a signing ceremony.
Markets have been encouraged by positive comments about the agreement, though details have yet to be released.
Chinese customs data this week showed soybean imports rose in November in a possible boost to American farmers. Midwestern farm states were battered by Beijing’s suspension of purchases of U.S. soybeans, the biggest Chinese import from the United States, in response to Trump’s tariff hikes in a fight over China’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.
“Broadly risk sentiment is positive,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.
Benchmark U.S. crude
gained 13 cents to $61.81 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 57 cents on Thursday to close at $61.88. Brent crude
, used to price international oils, advanced 6 cents to $66.82 per barrel in London. It rose 60 cents the previous session to $66.76.
weakened to 109.47 yen from Thursday’s 109.57 yen.