Asia-Pacific stocks rose in Friday trade. The broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.60%, leading the region’s gain, followed by the Nikkei 225 in Japan at 1.10%.
Mainland Chinese stocks edged higher, with the Shanghai composite rising about 0.43%. The Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.41%, the South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.50%, the Singapore’s Straits Times index advanced by 0.65%, and the S&P BSE Sensex in India hovered above the flatline.
Overnight on Wall Street, major U.S. indexes ended weaker but stayed close to all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.43% to end at 34,879.38 points. The S&P 500 lost 0.46% to 4,493.28, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.25% to 15,248.25.
Oil prices rose on Friday, but heading for weekly losses in three, after China’s government confirmed that it had released crude from its strategic reserves in an unprecedented intervention in the global market.
U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week as production tumbled the most on record due to disruptions caused by Hurricane Ida. Inventories shrunk by 1.53 million barrels, according to the EIA. The destructive storm led to a 1.5-million-barrel decline in daily crude output.
The Brent now traded at $71.88 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures traded at $68.47 per barrel.
Both settled at their lowest since Aug. 26 on Thursday. The Brent ends at $71.45 a barrel, and the WTI at $68.14 per barrel.
The dollar index was flat after easing overnight alongside U.S. Treasury yields. The dollar index was little changed on the day at 92.493, remaining on course for around 0.5% weekly rise.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes edged up to 1.302%.
Gold prices were steady on Friday, caught between a pullback in the dollar and growing uncertainty over the U.S. Federal Reserve's timeline to start tapering stimulus, with the precious metal heading to record a weekly decline.
Spot gold advanced at $1,797.20 per ounce and was down 1.6% for the week. U.S. gold futures little changed at $1,800.00.
Silver rose 0.16% to $24.21 per ounce and platinum eased 0.16% to $972.90. Palladium gained 3% to $2,207.00, bouncing off an over 1-year low of $2,143.69 touched in the previous session.
Asian shares rallied on Friday after two days of losses, as traders weigh the elevated inflation and slower economic reopening alongside prospect of reduced central bank stimulus.
The gains were led by Hong Kong with the local benchmark rebounding having fallen over 2% the day before when Chinese tech stocks took another battering after authorities called gaming firms in for a word.
The European Central Bank said it will slow the pace of its pandemic bond-buying in the final quarter of 2021, but President Christine Lagarde added that didn’t herald a winding down in stimulus with the Delta strain still posing risks.
Data showed on Thursday the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nearly 18 months, offering more evidence that job growth was being hindered by labour shortages rather than cooling demand for workers.
Important Levels to Watch for Today:
- Resistance line of 110.301 and 110.563.
- Support line of 109.456 and 109.195.
The dollar rose 0.2% to 109.864 yen on Friday, but was little changed for the week, still meandering in the middle of its range of the past two months.
The pair pulled back gaining ground as the dollar tracks the U.S. yields higher.
Despite the stability of the USD/JPY currency pair around the current range, bulls still need more momentum to move towards the resistance levels at 110.30 and 110.563 to confirm the strength of the upward move. On the daily chart, the support levels 109.45 and 109.19 are still legitimate targets for the bears in case the currency pair does not get more bullish momentum for a prolonged period.