SINGAPORE – Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose on Friday, with technology shares in the region rising after big gains on Wall Street that saw the Nasdaq Composite rise 3%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed up 4.01% at 21,089.39, leading the gains among major markets in the region.
Mainland Chinese stocks also saw sizeable gains, with the Shanghai Composite closing 2.41% higher at 3,047.06 while the Shenzhen Component soared 3.693% to around 11,021.44.
The surge in China’s markets came after Chinese state media reported details of a Politburo meeting on Friday in which officials promised more political support to meet the country’s economic growth target for the year.
“The most important message is a change in political priority. In recent weeks, the top priority seems to be to contain the Omicron outbreaks. Now, the goal is to balance outbreak containment and economic growth. This suggests that the government could fine-tune the ‘zero tolerance policy to allow for some flexibility,” Zhang Zhiwei, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, wrote in a note.
In recent weeks, mainland China has been battling its worst covid outbreak since the initial impact of the pandemic in early 2020, with concerns surrounding the country’s economic prospects as authorities continue to maintain a strict strategy of ” covid zero”.
Investors also saw movement in Asia-Pacific tech stocks after their counterparts on Wall Street rose overnight. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 3.06% to 12,871.53.
Chinese tech shares rose, with Tencent rising 11.07% while Alibaba rose 15.69%. The Hang Seng Tech Index rose 9.96% to 4,471.75.
Shares of South Korean industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 4.01%, while chipmaker SK Hynix rose 2.74%. Krafton jumped 4.78%.
South Korea’s broader Kospi rose 1.03% to close at 2,695.05, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.06% to close the day at 7,435.
Markets in Japan were closed on Friday for a holiday. MSCI’s broader index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan rose 2.58%.
“I think overall it’s pretty constructive … a sea of positive green performance today on the back of a reasonably strong corporate earnings season coming out of the US market,” said Audrey Goh, senior investment strategist at Standard. Chartered, to CNBC. Street Signs Asia” on Friday.
Looking ahead, Goh pointed to an upcoming meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee in the United States, where investors will be looking for clues about the outlook for interest rates.
“Overall, heading into the weekend, we’re probably going to be a little more cautious in terms of how the Fed can signal some of its rate hike path going forward,” he said.
foreign exchange and oil
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 102.955 after posting a previous high of 103.665.
The Japanese yen was trading at 129.91 per dollar, stronger after an earlier low of 130.95 against the dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.7157, still down from levels above $0.72 seen earlier this week.
Oil prices rose in afternoon Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 1.39% to $109.09 a barrel. US crude futures rose 1.05% to $106.47 a barrel.