Asian markets were mixed in early trading Friday after Japan’s GDP grew, but so did China’s inflation.
New data showed Japan’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the June-ended second quarter. The economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.8%, beating analysts’ estimates of 0.4% growth, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
China’s central bank set the yuan’s daily midpoint above 7 per U.S. dollar for the second straight day. Still, the reference point of 7.0136 yuan per dollar was stronger than analysts’ estimates, and reassured investors that China is not seeking an all-out currency war.
Meanwhile, China’s consumer inflation hit a 17-month high, with the consumer-price index up 2.8% year-over-year in July. The Wall Street Journal had estimated a 2.7% rise. Food prices, though, shot up 9.1% year-over-year amid an outbreak of swine fever. Indexes in Hong Kong and mainland China reversed early gains after the data was released.
Trade tensions showed no signs of letting up as Bloomberg News reported the Trump administration was holding off on approving licenses for U.S. tech companies to resume doing business with China’s blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co. in retaliation for China’s suspension of U.S. agricultural purchases.
rose 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
gave up early gains and was last down 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite
fell 0.2% and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
was last down 0.6%. South Korea’s Kospi
jumped 1.1%, and benchmark indexes in Malaysia
gained. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
edged up 0.2%. Markets in Taiwan and Singapore were closed for holidays.
Among individual stocks, Sony
rose in Tokyo trading, along with
Inpex and SoftBank
. In Hong Kong, China Mobile
gained, as did Sunny Optical
and New World Development
and LG Electronics
advanced in South Korea, and Commonwealth Bank
gained in Australia after the country’s central bank said it may cut interest rates further if necessary.
Technology companies powered stocks broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday, driving the S&P 500 to its best day in more than two months and erasing its losses for the week.
The rally, which pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up by more than 370 points, followed an early rise in bonds yields after a weekly government report on unemployment claims came in better than economists had expected.
The absence of new worrisome turns in the U.S.-China trade tussle may have also helped keep investors in a buying mood.
The S&P 500 index
rose 54.11 points, or 1.9%, to 2,938.09. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
climbed 371.12 points, or 1.4%, to 26,378.19. The Nasdaq composite
, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, vaulted 176.33 points, or 2.2%, to 8,039.16. It also had its best day in more than two months and was on track to end the week with a gain.
rose 9 cents to $52.63 a barrel. It rose $1.45 to $52.54 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude oil
, the international standard, added 7 cents $57.45 a barrel.
rose to 106.01 Japanese yen from 105.97 Thursday.