April 15, 2024
Asian stocks rise on Wall St tech rally; Non-Farm Payrolls Awaited by Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com–Most Asian stocks rose Friday, following the strength of their U.S. counterparts, leading technology-heavy indices to record-high closes on Wall Street.

But bigger gains were still capped by caution ahead of key US data due later in the day. Markets were also concerned about the reading after the Federal Reserve downplayed any expectations of cutting interest rates soon this year.

Weakness in China continued and the index lagged its peers after weak Purchasing Managers’ Index data released earlier this week. Both the indices were also near five- and four-year lows.

Asian tech outperforms on positive signs, Chinese videogaming is upbeat

Still, regional tech stocks got a positive lead from Wall Street after strong earnings from Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) and Meta Platform Inc (NASDAQ:). Both surged on Thursday, with Meta jumping nearly 15% in aftermarket trading after announcing a $50 billion buyback.

These gains spread across technology-heavy Asian markets. South Korea jumped 2.2%, also supported by a below-expected (CPI) inflation reading for January.

Hong Kong’s index jumped 1.3%, helped by strength in key tech companies that overcame weakness in mainland Chinese shares. Videogame shares, notably heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK:), rose more than 4% after the government unexpectedly approved 32 imported online games, many of which will be operated by Tencent.

Australia jumped 1.4% to a record high of 7,696.30 points, boosted mainly by technology and gold shares. Inflation figures increased less than expected in the fourth quarter, which has raised hopes of reducing inflation in the country.

Futures for India’s index point to a slow start, although local tech giants are likely to keep an eye on their regional rivals. But ahead of the general elections this year, investors were encouraged by the ruling BJP party’s somewhat conservative fiscal annual budget.

Positive earnings from Meta and Amazon helped investors largely offset the weak performance of iPhone maker Apple Inc (NASDAQ:). Although the company beat expectations for quarterly earnings, its Chinese sales declined.

Hong Kong-listed Apple supplier AAC Technologies (HK:) rose 2.1%.

Japanese gains halted due to bank panic

Japan’s index rose 0.2% on strength in the technology sector. But big gains were capped by losses in major bank stocks, driven by a mix of profit-taking and risk aversion due to headwinds in the US property market.

The index fell 0.5%, with Azza Bank Ltd (TYO:) leading losses on the index for the second consecutive session. The stock fell 15.1% on Friday after reporting an unexpected, massive annual loss due to a surge in provisions for bad loans tied to U.S. commercial property.

Losses at Azora spread across broader Japanese banks, as investors feared potential contagion and similar headwinds for other lenders with U.S. exposure.

Heavyweight Nomura Holdings Inc (TYO:) fell 1.4% from a nearly nine-year high. The financial giant saw impressive profits earlier this week after posting record quarterly revenue from its investment banking division, and said it would buy back 4% of its shares.

Broader Asian markets were mainly focused on US non-farm payrolls data due later in the day, which is widely expected to feed into the Federal Reserve’s plans to cut interest rates eventually this year. Traders are preparing for rate cuts in May.

Source: www.investing.com

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