TOKYO (AP) – Asian stocks rose on Friday amid mixed signs for investors, such as rising energy prices and easing restrictions on COVID-19 in China.
In China, trade was closed in connection with the national holiday of the Dragon Boat Festival. Indicators in the rest of the region rose, encouraging the rally on Wall Street at night.
Market players are closely following data on non-agricultural employment in the US later that day, as well as a wealth of economic data on Japan next week. The OPEC meeting, at which oil-producing countries decided to increase production, failed to significantly stabilize energy prices.
“To say that the results of the OPEC meeting have disappointed expectations would be to say nothing,” said Stephen Ines, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.
Japan and the United States have signed a revision of the “beef protection” mechanism under the US-Japan trade agreement, which will help American beef producers to meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality beef. The agreement will reduce the likelihood of imposing protective tariffs on Japan’s American beef, both sides said. This happened in early 2021.
“Together, the United States and Japan have demonstrated our commitment to working together on common priorities to achieve concrete, cost-effective results for our people,” said Catherine Ty, a U.S. trade representative.
Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.2% in trading in the afternoon to 27,742.70. The Australian S & P / ASX 200 increased 0.9% to 7,237.40, and the South Korean Kospi increased 0.4% to 2,668.52.
Shares on Wall Street overcame the shaky start of the close much higher on Thursday, as major indexes more than offset losses at the start of the holiday week cut.
The S&P 500 rose 1.8% to 4,176.82, with more than 85% of the stock in the benchmark index rising. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3% to 33,248.28, while the Nasdaq rose 2.7% to 12,316.90.
Technology stocks, whose high prices tend to give the broader market a boost above or below, accounted for a large share of the rally on Thursday.
Shares of small companies have risen, indicating confidence in economic growth. Russell 2000 increased 2.3% to 1,897.67.
In recent days, trade has been disrupted as investors remain concerned about inflation and rising interest rates, which the Federal Reserve is using to combat it. Thursday’s rally may have been triggered, in part, by a report showing that private sector hiring was well below economists’ forecasts.
“The private payroll was rather weak,” said Tom Heinlin, national investment strategist at Wealth Management Bank. “Perhaps this is one of those environments where people are looking for weak data, which gives them some hope that the Fed will suspend (raise the rate) in September.”
Rising energy prices are contributing to inflation, which is already at its highest level in four decades. Gasoline prices in the United States on Thursday reached another record high: the average price of a pump was $ 4.71 per gallon, according to the Federation of Automobile Clubs AAA.
Investors are still focused on the balance between inflation, rising interest rates and economic growth. Several economic reports on Wednesday backed the Fed’s expectations of a continued aggressive rise in interest rates. Wall Street is concerned that the Fed could slow economic growth too much and potentially send the economy into recession.
But on Thursday, the payroll handler ADP reported that in May, the number of hired private U.S. companies rose by just 128,000. According to FactSet, this is well below the 302,000 hired economists.
Wall Street will get another look at the state of the U.S. economy on Friday when the Department of Labor releases an employment report for May. Initially, the job market was slowly recovering from the effects of the virus pandemic, but bounced back sharply with low unemployment and lots of job postings.
Meanwhile, high inflation is eating away at corporate profits, while the war in Ukraine and the restrictions on COVID-19 in China have also affected markets.
Bond yields were relatively stable. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps set interest rates on mortgages and other loans, fell to 2.91% from 2.93% at the end of Wednesday.
In energy trade, U.S. benchmark oil fell 59 cents to $ 116.28 a barrel. Brent crude oil, an international standard, fell 48 cents to $ 117.13 a barrel.
In foreign exchange trading, the US dollar fell to 129.83 Japanese yen from 129.87 yen. The euro was worth $ 1.0758 out of $ 1.0752.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama