Asian stocks mostly trod in positive territory on Friday, as easing concerns about U.S.-China tensions and clarifications that Chinese regulatory crackdown on gaming companies were not as harsh as originally reported, lifted sentiment in the region. Hang Seng’s Hang Seng Index led the region’s rally with a gain of 1.9 percent.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index managed to gain 0.3 percent over previous close to end trading at 3,703.11, as sentiment was supported by news of a conversation between the presidents of the U.S. and China.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rallied 373.65 points or 1.3 percent to end trading at 30,381.84, just about a percent away from the 52-week high of 30,714.52.
Shinsei Bank gained more than 20 percent as rival lender SBI Holdings’ launched an unsolicited bid for the company and announced plans to increase its stake to 48 percent through a tender offer. Marine transportation business Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha gained more than 5 percent.
Pharmaceutical company Eisai Co. slumped more than 8 percent after Biogen, with whom it is jointly developing Alzhiemer drug Aduhelm, admitted to unexpected delays in the launch of the drug.
The Korean Stock Exchange’s Kospi Index gained 11.06 points or 0.4 percent to close at 3125.76. The day’s trading range was between 3,103.38 and 3,131.54. Ilsung Construction Co. was the lead gainer with a rally of close to 30 percent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 489 points or 1.9 percent to finish trading at 26,205.91. The day’s high was at 26,205.91 and the low was at 25,870.71.
Australia’s S&P ASX200 Index rose 37.10 points or 0.5 percent to close at 7,406.60, around 3 percent below its 52-week high of 7,632.80. Sentiment was lifted following the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions.
Nickel Mines surged 8.5 percent as positive investor sentiment in the electric vehicle (EV) battery market spilled over to nickel, a key component in lithium-ion batteries used in generating power for electric vehicles.
Mining stocks Alumina Ltd., South32 Ltd. and Mineral Resources Ltd. also rallied more than 5 percent as aluminum prices hit multi-year highs.
Medical device maker Polynovo Ltd. declined more than 5 percent following news of the resignation of its chief operating officer. Legal business services provider Omni Bridgeway slipped following an unfavorable legal decision in the Brisbane floods class action suit.
The NZX50 Index of the New Zealand Stock Exchange shed 31.38 points or 0.2 percent to close at 13,064.39. At closing levels, the index was 4.3 percent below the 52-week high of 13643.78.
Specialty retailer Kathmandu Holdings gained 2.8 percent, while electric utilities business Infratil Ltd. advanced 1.8 percent. Seafood company Sanford corrected 3.3 percent in the day’s trade.
On Thursday, the U.S. benchmarks had closed lower, as traders weighed delta virus-impacted growth concerns as well as a lower jobless claims reading. Nasdaq-100 closed at 15,561.05, around 0.4 percent lower than the previous close, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 34,879.38, down 0.4 percent.
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