Asia-Pacific Shares

Asia-Pacific Shares Mostly Higher; “Highly Supportive” RBA Policy Lifts Australian Market

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes settled mostly higher on Friday, led by strong gains on Wall Street with the benchmark S&P 500 Index hitting a record closing high. Mainland Chinese stocks lagged as they closed lower.

Additionally, Hong Kong stocks saw their best show in three months on strong mainland demand. South Korea shares were boosted by Samsung Electronics. Japanese shares rallied on upbeat earnings and U.S. stimulus hopes. Australia shares posted their best weekly jump in three months as banks shined on central bank policy support.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28779.19, up 437.24 or 1.54%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 29288.68, up 175.18 or +0.60% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3120.63, up 33.08 or +1.07%.

In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3496.33, down 5.53 or -0.16% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6840.50, up 75.00 or 1.11%.

Hong Kong Stocks See Best Weekly Show in 3 months on Mainland Demand

Hong Kong stocks closed higher on Friday, helping the indexes post their best weekly performance in three months, following persistent buying activity from mainland investors.

On Friday, mainland investors purchased net of HK$9.4 billion ($1.21 billion) worth of Hong Kong stocks via the Stock Connect linking mainland and Hong Kong, Refinitiv data showed. That came after their buying hit a monthly record of more than HK$300 billion in January, as asset managers looked to the city for bargains.

Kuaishou Technology surged three-fold in its Hong Kong debut to become the fifth-largest listed company in the city, driven by massive demand from mom-and-pop investors for the Chinese online video service operator.

China Shares Post Weekly Gains on Economic Recovery; Sino-US Tensions Weigh

China stocks finished lower, but higher for the week, as investors found support from a continued economic recovery, though Sino-U.S. tensions remained a worry.

Investors continued to trade the economic recovery story, while ample funds still favored leading blue-chips that were seen as “core assets” in the A-share market and Hong Kong, analysts at Dongxing Securities said in a report.

Worries over Sino-U.S. tensions, however, kept gains in check. The United States is deliberating “creating tensions” and disrupting peace and stability, China’s military said, after a U.S. warship sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

South Korea Shares Rise Boosted by Samsung Electronics; Post Best Week in a Month

South Korean shares rebounded on Friday after Wall Street’s record-setting rally overnight, posting their best weekly gain in a month, boosted by gains in chip giant Samsung Electronics.

Samsung gained as much as 1.82% in early trade after documents filed with Texas state officials showed that the company is considering Austin as one of the sites for a new $17 billion plant.

Its peer SK Hynix jumped 2%. Other heavyweights LG Chem and Samsung SDI gained 2.8% and 3.8%, respectively.

Australia Shares Post Best Weekly Jump in 3 Months as Banks Shine on RBA Policy Support

Australian shares ended higher on Friday, posting their best weekly jump in more than three months, led by gains in financials after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reiterated extending a supportive monetary policy for as long as needed.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Published by

James Hyerczyk

James A. Hyerczyk has worked as a fundamental and technical financial market analyst since 1982. His technical work features the pattern, price and time analysis techniques of W.D. Gann.