Shares were higher in Asia on Friday, despite data suggesting economies are slowing. The advance tracked gains on Wall Street, where the market is headed for its first weekly gain after three weeks of punishing losses.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index added 1.2% to 26,491.97 and the Kospi in Seoul jumped 2.4% to 2,369.16. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 2% to 21,707.92 and the Shanghai Composite index added 1% to 3,354.63.
In Australia, the S&P;/ASX 200 gained 0.8% to 6,577.40. Shares also rose in India and Taiwan.
U.S. and European futures also were higher.
Market players are looking ahead to U.S. inflation data due next week. They appeared to shrug off preliminary data showing a slowing of factory activity in several countries including Japan.
The manufacturing manager surveys of “several developed economies came in lower-than-expected in both the manufacturing and services sector, which points to a broad-based moderation in economic activities,” Jun Rong Yeap of IG said in a commentary.
A report Friday showed inflation in Japan remained at 2.1% in May, pushed higher by energy costs and a weaker currency. However, underlying core inflation, which excludes volatile costs for energy and fresh foods, remained at 0.8% and the central bank is unlikely to follow the example of the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks in raising interest rates, analysts said.
The Bank of Japan “isn’t convinced that this will be sustainable because wage growth remains soft and higher energy costs are weighing on corporate profits and consumer sentiment,” Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a report.
On Wall Street, trading was wobbly as investors focused on another round of testimony before Congress by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He told a House committee the Fed hopes to rein in the worst inflation in four decades without knocking the economy into a recession, but acknowledged “that path has gotten more and more challenging.”
The S&P; 500 ended 1% higher at 3,795.73 after having been down as much as 0.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% to 30,677.36 and the Nasdaq gained 1.6% to 11,232.19.
Smaller company stocks also gained ground. The Russell 2000 rose 1.3% to 1,711.67.
Trading has been turbulent in recent weeks as investors try to determine whether a recession is looming. The benchmark S&P; 500 is currently in a bear market. That means it has dropped more than 20% from its most recent high, which was in January. The index has fallen for 10 of the last 11 weeks.
On Thursday, Powell stressed: “I don’t think that a recession is inevitable.” He has said it’s ”certainly a possibility” and that the central bank is facing a more challenging task amid the war in Ukraine essentially pushing oil and other commodity prices even higher and making inflation even more pervasive.
Powell spoke to Congress a week after the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by three quarters of a percentage point, its biggest hike in nearly three decades. Fed policymakers also …read more
Source:: Headlines News4jax
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