Asia Pacific stocks rose in Friday afternoon trade following the release of mixed U.S. economic data overnight.
South Korean stocks attempted to bounce from Thursday’s losses as the Kospi gained 2.13% in afternoon trade. Shares in the country have seen a choppy trading week as South Korea has seen a recent jump in coronavirus cases.
Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by the afternoon. The Shanghai composite advanced 0.78% while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.51%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.25%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% while the Topix index added 0.39%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was flat.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index jumped 1.1%.
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 recovered from an earlier dip to rise 0.86% by the afternoon. 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 92.644 after seeing levels below 92.4 earlier in the trading week.
The Japanese yen traded at 105.66 per dollar after touching levels above 106 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7197, in a turbulent trading week that has seen it from levels above $0.724 to below $0.716.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.33% at $45.05 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.28% to $42.94 per barrel.