Asia Pacific stocks edged higher in Friday morning trade following the release of mixed U.S. economic data overnight.
Mainland Chinese stocks were higher in early trade. The Shanghai composite advanced 0.52% while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.608%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.63%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.36% while the Topix index added 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.72%.
Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.14%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.63% higher.
The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that initial weekly jobless claims stateside came in above 1 million. That was higher than a Dow Jones estimate of 923,000. Still, continuing claims — those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks — continued to decline.
Meanwhile, shares of Alibaba listed in Hong Kong dipped around 0.2% in morning trade. The move downward came despite the Chinese tech behemoth announcing a 34% on-year increase in revenue in the quarter ended June 30.
In a media release announcing the quarterly results, Alibaba Group Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu said the firm’s “domestic core commerce business has fully recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels across the board.”
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 46.85 points, or 0.1%, to close at 27,739.73. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to finish its trading day stateside at 3,385.51 while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1% to a new record close of 11,264.95.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.708 after seeing levels below 92.4 earlier in the trading week.
The Japanese yen traded at 105.67 per dollar after touching levels above 106 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7202, in a turbulent trading week that has seen it from levels above $0.724 to below $0.716.
Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.31% at $45.04 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.19% to $42.90 per barrel.