Japan’s Nikkei 225 rises more than 2% as Asian markets rise

SINGAPORE – Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose on Friday, with markets seeing a rollercoaster week as investors assess inflation and the global economic outlook.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed up 2.64% at 26,427.65, and shares in Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group rose more than 12% despite reporting a record loss at its Vision Fund investment unit on Thursday. The Topix index rose 1.91% to 1,864.20.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index jumped 2.68% to close the day at 19,898.77. Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.96% to 3,084.28 while the Shenzhen Component gained 0.585% to 11,159.79.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 2.12% on the day to 2,604.24 while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.93% to 7,075.10.

MSCI’s broader index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan rose 1.95%.

Concerns over inflation and the economic outlook have hit global investor sentiment in recent days, with riskier assets such as tech stocks and cryptocurrencies taking a hit.

Alex Wolf of JPMorgan Private Bank told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday that the firm is “pretty cautious” about Asian stocks at the moment.

“There’s really nowhere to hide,” said Wolf, the firm’s director of investment strategy for Asia. He cited concerns such as broader growth risks creating “short-term uncertainties” for Asia, particularly the region’s emerging markets.

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US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that reining in inflation will not be easy and warned he could not promise a so-called soft landing for the economy.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 0.13% to 3,930.08, more than 18% below its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 103.81 points, or 0.33%, to 31,730.30. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced fractionally to 11,370.96.

foreign exchange and oil

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.529 after a recent rally from below 104.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 128.81 per dollar, stronger compared to levels above 130 seen against the dollar earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6898 as it continues to struggle for a rebound after falling from over $0.70 earlier in the week.

Oil prices rose in afternoon Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 0.6% to $108.09 a barrel. US crude futures rose 0.4% to $106.55 a barrel.

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