Shares in the Asia Pacific markets rose on Friday, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index leading gains. European markets also are set to open higher, tracking global gains as another volatile trading week comes to a close.
The Hang Seng index jumped 2% in early trade, before paring gains to 1.85% higher. Mainland Chinese stocks also climbed, with Shanghai Composite advanced 1.11%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.20%, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 1.04%, and in South Korea, the KOSPI gained 1.80%. Singapore’s FTSE Straits Times Index added 1.28%.
Overnight on Wall Street, major U.S. stock indexes fell after a volatile session. The S&P 500 declined 0.58% to end the session at 3,900.79 points, moving closer to a bear market. Nasdaq declined 0.26% to 11,388.50 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.75% to 31,253.13 points.
Oil prices were lower on Friday, as fears over slower economic growth could curb a recovery in fuel demand. Brent futures fell 0.56%, to $111.87 a barrel, while U.S. WTI crude fell 2.4%, to $109.30.
The U.S. dollar was headed for its worst week since early February against major peers on Friday, eclipsed overnight by a decline in U.S. yields as investors rushed for the safety of Treasury bonds.
After the currency's breathless 10%, 14-week surge, the dollar index was flat on Friday, at 102.835 and remained 1.42% lower for the week, on track to snap a six-week winning run. Last Friday, it had soared to the highest since January 2003 at 105.01.
The U.S. 10-year yield was last at 2.850%, sank to a more than three-week low. The two-year yield climbed to 2.6364% compared with a U.S. close of 2.611%.
In other developments, China cuts borrowing rate again, lowered the five-year loan prime rate (LPR) by 15 basis points to 4.45%, the biggest reduction since China revamped the mechanism in 2019. The one-year LPR was unchanged at 3.70%.
Gold rose and set for their first weekly gain since mid-April, as the U.S. dollar receded from two-decade highs and mounting concerns over U.S. economic growth revived safe-haven demand.
Spot gold gained 0.19% at $1,845.00 per ounce, and the U.S. gold futures edged 0.22% higher to $1,845.30. Gold prices have climbed about 1.5% this week.
Asian stocks recovered some ground on Friday, buoyed by China's decision to cut key lending benchmark to cushion its economic slowdown.
China cut its five-year LPR by 15 basis points, an unexpectedly wide margin on Friday, its second cut this year as Beijing seek to cushion an economic slowdown, and to revive the ailing housing sector. Its senior officials have pledged further measures to fight a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy, hit by COVID-19 outbreaks that prompted stringent measures and mobility restrictions, causing huge disruptions to economic activity.
A gauge of global equities remained set for its longest weekly losing streak on record as investors fretted about sluggish growth, inflation, and rising interest rates, as well as erosion of corporate margins going forward.
Global investors also continue to track the war in Ukraine and its geopolitical implications, which have darkening into soaring energy and food prices worldwide. The World Food Programme has said failure to reopen Ukrainian ports would be a declaration of war on global food security.