Asian investor sentiment remains upbeat on Friday following the news of a U.S.-China trade meeting, positive developments in the Brexit scenario, and better than expected private-sector U.S. employment data. Investors are now awaiting the U.S. non-farm payrolls data, and expectations are that it will also be better than forecast.
In Japan, the Nikkei has a 0.5% gain heading into the lunch break as the Yen continues to weaken versus the U.S. dollar. Despite the gains for the index, shares of Sony are giving back prior session gains, trading down by 1.4% and Softbank trades 2.7% lower. Meanwhile Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing is 2.1% higher, extending its gains from the previous session.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 trades up by 0.5% as well. The big four banks are extending weekly gains, trading up in the range of 0.5% to 0.9%, while miners BHP and Rio Tinto are up by 0.9% and 1.3% respectively.
Mainland China’s markets have also opened to gains, with both the large-cap Shanghai Composite and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite trading 0.4% higher. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng has jumped 1% higher to lead gains in the region as investors accept that the withdrawal of the extradition bill is finally bringing calm back to the island nation.
Southeast Asian markets are also higher today, with Singapore’s Straits Times index trading 0.5% higher, while the KLCI in Malaysia has an early gain of 0.2%.