Japan stocks up 2%, Asia-Pacific markets mostly gain after volatile session on Wall Street

Japan stocks up 2%, Asia-Pacific markets mostly gain after volatile session on Wall Street

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets mostly traded higher on Friday, following a volatile session on Wall Street overnight where investors reacted to comments from the Federal Reserve and U.S. GDP data.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 2% after falling nearly 3% on Thursday, while the Topix was up 1.74%. South Korea’s Kospi reversed losses to rise 0.81%.

Australia’s ASX 200 advanced 1.57%.

Mainland Chinese markets fell: the Shanghai Composite lost 0.72%, while the Shenzhen Component slid 0.96%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also declined 1%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.14% lower.

Shares of Apple suppliers in Asia largely rose after the tech giant beat earnings estimates on Thursday stateside.

The Taiwan market is closed for a holiday on Friday. Hong Kong is slated to release its GDP report for the fourth quarter on Friday afternoon.

Stocks continued to be volatile overnight on Wall Street as investors reacted to news from the Fed, as well as the newest GDP figures and corporate earnings.

U.S. gross domestic product grew 6.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the year before, beating analyst expectations despite a surge in omicron cases.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq retraced earlier gains to close lower. The S&P 500 ended the session down 0.5% at 4,326.51, and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite lost 1.4% to 13,352.78. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 600 points at during intra-day trade, but closed almost flat at 34,160.78.

All three indexes are firmly in negative territory so far this month.

Spot gold slid to a two-week low of $1,790.20 on Thursday as the U.S. dollar rallied following signs that the Fed will hike interest rates soon, Reuters reported. It has since recovered and was last trading at $1,797 in Asia.

Elsewhere, the Kremlin said Russia’s views were not taken into account in U.S. security proposals. Tensions between the two sides have increased over Russia’s growing military presence along its border with Ukraine.

Oil prices pulled back from seven-year highs this week, but remain elevated over fears that energy supplies in Europe from Russia could be disrupted.

U.S. crude futures rose 0.51% during Asia trading hours to $87.05, while Brent crude increased 0.39% to trade at $89.69.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, last traded at 97.187, down from 97.225 earlier.

Meanwhile, the Japanese yen traded at 115.42 per dollar, while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7038, up slightly from $0.7031 earlier.

— CNBC’s Saheli Roy Choudhury, Hannah Miao, Tanaya Macheel, Jeff Cox and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.

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