Shares in the Asia-Pacific rose on Friday as investors look ahead to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole later stateside.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.70%, Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 0.69%, while South Korea KOSPI gained 0.24%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.06%, and mainland China’s Shanghai Composite ticked 0.10% higher.
Overnight in the U.S., major indexes rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.98%, to finish at 33,291.78, the S&P 500 gained 1.41%, to close at 4,199.12 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.67%, to end the session at 12,639.27.
Oil prices recovered some ground on Friday although further gains were capped as the market awaited clues from the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman on the outlook for rate hikes in a speech later in the day. The prospect of the OPEC curbing output to offset production increases from Iran also supported prices.
Brent crude rose 0.30% to $100.13 per barrel and U.S. crude was up by a similar margin to $93.37 a barrel. Both benchmark oil contracts are on track for gains of around 3% for the week.
The prices slumped by about $2 a barrel in the previous session as investors braced for the possible return to global markets of sanctioned Iranian oil exports and on worries that rising U.S. interest rates would weaken fuel demand.
Tehran is reviewing Washington's response to a EU-drafted final offer to revive a nuclear deal, with the EU expecting a response soon. It is unclear, though, how quickly Iranian oil exports would resume if a deal were reached. If sanctions are lifted against Iran, it could take around a year and a half for it to reach its full capacity of 4 million bpd, up 1.4 million bpd from its current output.
The dollar index rose 0.17% at 108.595 against a basket of currencies, on track for a 0.38% weekly gain and already up 2.5% in August.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were up slightly to 3.050%, compared with close of 3.024% the previous day. The two-year yield, which rises with traders' expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 3.3803%, compared with a U.S. close of 3.374%.
Gold was subdued as dollar has started picking up some steam and investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of U.S. Fed's speech. Though, it is still set for a marginal weekly rise of about 0.4%.
Spot gold inched 0.2% lower to $1,755.50 per ounce. U.S. gold futures dropped 0.16% to $1,768.50.
Spot silver slipped 0.3% to $19.22 per ounce, and palladium was steady at $2,146.84. Both are set for a weekly rise. Platinum rose 0.3% to $883.63 but is down for a second consecutive week.
Asian shares rose on Friday, buoyed by news of possible progress for China and the United States to hammer out an audit deal, while traders anxiously awaited a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on rate-hike path later in the day.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Washington and Beijing are nearing an agreement that allows American accounting regulators to travel to Hong Kong to inspect audit records of U.S.-listed Chinese companies.
Investors focused on the Federal Reserve's conference for clues about the central bank's policy outlook. Powell's speech is due at 1400 GMT on Friday at the Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming in the U.S. His address will be watched closely by market participants for any clues on how aggressively the U.S. central bank will continue tightening monetary policy, and for indications on a potential change of strategy in case of an economic slowdown.