Asian Shares Advance After Wall Street Rally

Asian stocks finished Friday’s session broadly higher after all three main U.S. indexes enjoyed a second day of gains overnight following strong earnings from retailers.

Investors also took comfort from the latest FOMC minutes suggesting that the Fed wants to slow the tightening cycle in the second half of the year following half-percentage-point rate hikes in June and July.

Oil prices slipped in Asian trading after surging to a two-month high in the previous session on signs of tight global supply. Gold prices were on course for a weekly gain as the dollar continued to weaken on easing of Fed hike fears.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.2 percent to 3,130.24 on hopes for improving Sino-U.S. ties and expectations of more economic stimulus measures.

The United States does not seek to sever China from the global economy but wants Beijing to adhere to international rules, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rallied 2.9 percent to 20,697.36, with Chinese tech stocks getting a boost after both Alibaba and Baidu reported sales growth that was higher than expected.

Japanese shares rose notably after data showed the Tokyo core consumer price index (CPI) grew an annual 1.9 percent in May 2022.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told parliament that the country’s core consumer inflation would likely remain around the central bank’s 2 percent target for 12 months unless energy prices drop sharply.

The Nikkei 225 Index gained 0.7 percent to close at 26,781.68. SoftBank, Shiseido, Tokio Marine Holdings, Takashimaya, Sompo Holdings, J Front Retailing, Nippon Yusen KK and Nikon climbed 3-7 percent.

Seoul stocks advanced as a string of better-than-expected earnings results from retailers helped ease worries about a slowdown in U.S. consumption.

The Kospi jumped 1 percent to 2,638.05. Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 0.9 percent and peer SK Hynix added 2.9 percent.

Australian markets posted strong gains as higher commodity prices lifted mining and energy stocks. The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index climbed 1.1 percent to 7,182.70, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended 1.0 percent higher at 7,413.10.

Automotive software firm Infomedia surged 6.5 percent after it received a A$657.6 million ($467.09 million) preliminary buyout offer from American tech-focused private equity firm Battery Ventures.

Meanwhile, New Zealand shares slipped, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index ending 0.3 percent lower at 11,065.15. Real estate stocks underperformed on fears that property prices would decline in an environment of rising interest rates.

U.S. stocks rose sharply overnight to extend gains from the previous session, as Elon Musk committed more cash to the Twitter deal, and retailers such as Department store operator Macy’s and discount chains Dollar General Corp and Dollar Tree posted strong quarterly results and issued upbeat guidance.

Economic readings were mixed, with initial jobless claims falling more than expected last week, while first-quarter GDP contracted at slightly faster rate than previously expected and pending homes sales slumped in April.

The Dow climbed 1.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite soared 2.7 percent and the S&P 500 rallied 2 percent.

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