Japan leads the way as Asia markets surge ahead of US jobs data
The Nikkei 225 index rose 1.27 percent to 27,761.57 on the day, led by shares of Fast Retailing, which jumped 5.86 percent. To 1,933.14, the Topix index increased 0.35 percent.
The Kospi in South Korea rose 0.44 percent to 2,670.65, while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.88 percent to 7,238.80 at the close of trading. Outside of Japan, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks rose 0.51 percent.
“It is premature, if not incorrect, to suggest that the bearish sentiment in markets may have peaked. We have argued, in our daily and ad-hoc publications, that bouts of optimism in a bear market are par for the course,” Mizuho Bank economist Lavanya Venkateswaran wrote on Friday.
Friday was a holiday in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, therefore markets were closed. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roils global energy markets, OPEC and its oil-producing partners agreed Thursday to raise output by a larger-than-expected amount in July and August.
In the afternoon of Asia trade hours, oil prices were down. Brent crude futures were trading at $117.59 a barrel, just below the flatline. Crude futures in the United States fell 0.1 percent to $116.75 per barrel.
According to Amrita Sen, head of research at Energy Aspects, the market is rightfully “skeptical” of OPEC and its partners’ intentions.
“Basically we’ve moved the needle by about 100,000 barrels per day on average in terms of actual production because we just don’t have enough spare capacity,” she told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Friday. “Russian production continues to fall so it’s just simply not going to change the picture very much.”
On Wall Street, the three major indices ended two-day losing streaks overnight. The S&P 500 index increased 1.84 percent to 4,176.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 435.05 points to 33,248.28, up 1.33 percent. The Nasdaq Composite, which is heavily weighted in technology, rose 2.69 percent to 12,316.90.
On Friday, at 8:30 p.m HK/SIN, the US jobs data for May will be released. According to economists polled by Dow Jones, 328,000 jobs were added in May, down 100,000 from April.
The dollar index, which measures the value of the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 101.719 after a turbulent week that saw it swing from below 101.6 to above 102.4. The Japanese yen was trading at 129.92 per dollar, down from levels around 128 earlier this week. The Australian dollar was trading at $0.7252 after a recent surge from below $0.721.