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Asia-Pacific markets saw significant gains, largely driven by better-than-expected economic data from China for August.
China’s retail sales and factory output figures for August exceeded market expectations, painting a positive picture of economic recovery. However, the print for fixed asset investment was slightly below expectations, and home prices slipped by 0.1% in August compared to the previous year.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rebounded to rise by 1% in its final hour of trading. In mainland China, the CSI 300 was down by 0.66%, mainly due to declines in utility stocks.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged by 1.1%, closing at 33,533.09, its highest level in over two months. It’s approaching a potential new 33-year high if it surpasses the July 3 level of 33,753.33. The Topix also continued to reach fresh 33-year highs, gaining 0.95% and ending at 2,428.
Notably, shares of Softbank, an investment holding company, rose over 3% after Arm, the chip design firm it controls, advanced almost 25% on its Nasdaq debut.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 recorded a significant gain of 1.29%, closing at 7,279, its highest since July 13.
South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.1% to reach 2,601.28, its highest level since August 10. Meanwhile, the Kosdaq remained near the flatline at 899.03.
Stocks experienced a decline on Friday as investors closed out a turbulent week in anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 288.87 points, equivalent to 0.83%, closing at 34,618.24. At its lowest point during the day, the index had completely erased the gains made on Thursday, when it rose by 332 points. The S&P 500 also experienced a decline of 1.22%, closing at 4,450.32, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped by 1.56% to end the day at 13,708.33.
Although the Dow recorded a positive week with a gain of 0.12%, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both saw their second consecutive week of losses, declining by 0.16% and 0.39%, respectively.
Oil prices reached a 10-month high on Friday, marking a third consecutive week of gains driven by supply constraints resulting from Saudi Arabian production cuts and positive sentiment regarding Chinese demand.
Brent crude futures rose by 23 cents, equivalent to 0.3%, settling at $93.93 per barrel. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures increased by 61 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $90.77 per barrel. Both contracts had already reached 10-month highs earlier in the week for five consecutive sessions, resulting in a weekly gain of approximately 4%.
Gold also experienced a 1% surge on Friday, benefiting from a weaker U.S. dollar and safe-haven demand following the initiation of strikes by the United Auto Workers union at three automakers in Detroit. Additionally, hopes of a potential pause in U.S. interest rate hikes provided further support to gold prices. Spot gold rose by 0.9% to $1,927.79 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.9% to $1,949.70 per ounce.
The above analysis is only for the views of market researchers and is for reference only and is not regarded as a specific investment suggestion.