Asian shares were mostly higher Friday after a moderate rise on Wall Street.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225

NIK, +1.05%

  rose 1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +0.68%

  added 0.7% in early trading, while South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, +1.44%

  was up 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng

HSI, +1.39%

  gained 1.3%, while the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +0.76%

  edged up 0.4%.

Among individual stocks, Japan Steel

5631, +6.13%

  and SoftBank Group

9984, +1.92%

  rose in Tokyo. Tech stocks such as Samsung

005930, +3.72%

  and SK Hynix

000660, +5.82%

  jumped in Seoul, while Taiwan Semiconductor

2330, +1.57%

  gained in Taipei. Tech stocks also boosted the Hang Seng, with Sunny Optical

2382, +5.82%

 , AAC

2018, +3.31%

  and Tencent

0700, +3.27%

  leading the way. Banks and energy companies led the way in Australia, with Beach Energy

BPT, +2.41%

  and Westpac Banking

WBC, +0.62%


“Our view remains that shares will do better this year thanks to much improved valuations, likely policy support and a stabilization and improvement in global growth. But after a huge rebound since the December lows shares are vulnerable to a short term pull back/re-test of December lows in the face of a long worry list,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital.

Earlier, the S&P 500 index

SPX, +0.14%

  rose 3.63 points, or 0.1%, to 2,642.33. The benchmark U.S. index is up 12.4% over the last month, but it has slipped 1.1% this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.09%

  dipped 22.38 points, or 0.1%, to 24,553.24. About two-thirds of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange closed with gains, but major stock indexes didn’t move much. Positive earnings from chip makers the previous day helped fuel gains, but disappointing earnings from Intel

INTC, +3.80%

  and Western Digital

WDC, +6.70%

  on Thursday sent chip stocks down after hours.

The European Central Bank did not change its interest rates or its projection for when it might start raising them. European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said risks to the European economy are increasing and the bank is ready to “adjust all of its instruments” if it runs into serious trouble. The ECB is aiming to raise rates even though the European economy has cooled as countries including Germany have lost some strength.

U.S. crude oil

CLH9, +1.30%

  added 67 cents to $53.80 a barrel. It rose 1 percent to $53.13 per barrel in New York overnight. Brent crude

LCOH9, +1.15%

 , used to price international oils, rose 69 cents to $61.78 per barrel in London.

The dollar

USDJPY, +0.17%

  edged up to 109.69 yen from 109.53 yen.

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