The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes followed Wall Street higher on Friday with shares in Hong Kong leading the charge.
In the U.S. on Thursday, the benchmark S&P 500 Index gained 0.58% to a new record closing high. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.94% and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite finished 0.68% higher. The gains stateside came after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the White House had reached an infrastructure deal after meeting with a bipartisan group of senators.
Cash Market Performance
In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 29066.18, up 190.95 or +0.66%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 29288.22, up 405.76 or +1.40% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3302.84, up 16.74 or +0.51%.
In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3607.56, up 40.91 or +1.15% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7308.00, up 32.70 or +0.45%.
Hong Kong Stocks End Higher on Tech, Materials Boost
Hong Kong stocks closed higher on Friday to post weekly gains, as tech and materials companies rose after mainland investors continued to buy shares via the Stock Connect. Leading the gains, the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.7%, while the IT sector rose 3.1%, the financial sector ended 0.75% higher and the property sector rose 0.18%.
Aiding sentiment was continued buying from mainland investors, who purchased a net 5 billion Yuan worth of Hong Kong shares on Friday, according to Refinitiv data.
China Stocks Post Weekly Gain on Financials Boost
China stocks jumped on Friday to snap three straight weekly losses, powered by gains in heavyweight financial firms. Financial firms underpinned the market, with the CSI300 financials index jumping 1.7%. The CSI SWS securities index rose 3.1%.
“The golden era for Chinese residents to boost equities has arrived, leading to a long-term upbeat cycle for securities firms,” SWS Research said in a report. “Residents’ wealth migration to equities assets are accelerating as other competitive wealth products’ returns continue to decline,” SWS Research added.
Australia Shares Gain as US Infrastructure Bill Raises Recovery Hopes
Australian stocks rose on Friday, led by banks and mining stocks, after U.S. President Joe Biden embracing a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal raised hopes of a recovery in the world’s largest economy.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.5% higher at 7,308.0, but notched its first weekly loss in six as surging COVID-19 cases in the country’s most populous state, New South Wales kept markets on edge through the week.
“The infrastructure announcement means there will be a whole lot of cash injection into the system. It means, there will be a strong demand for materials, and that will definitely benefit the Australian market,” said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling stockbroking.