Asia-Pacific stocks higher in holiday-thinned trade, Japan’s Nikkei scales fresh 34-year high

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Japan (NKY:IND) +0.09%. The Nikkei 225 Index jumped as much as 1.15% before settling 0.09% higher at 36,897 on Friday, scaling its highest levels in 34 years as strong corporate earnings, a weakening yen and a dovish outlook on Bank of Japan monetary policy pushed the markets to new heights.

China (SHCOMP) markets closed. Mainland Chinese stock markets will be closed at the end of today, reopen February 18.

Chinese banks extended CNY 4.92 trillion in new yuan loans in January 2024, a record high since comparable records began in 2004, slightly above the previous record of CNY 4.9 trillion a year earlier and beating forecasts of CNY 4.5 trillion.

Hong Kong (HSI) -0.83% Markets will observe half day of trading ahead of the Lunar New Year break

India (SENSEX) +0.10%.

Australia (AS51) +0.07%. The Australian dollar was subdued around $0.65, hovering near its lowest levels in twelve weeks as investors weighed the latest central bank commentary.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Michele Bullock said it’s not essential that inflation slows to 2.5% before the central bank moves to lower the cash rate.

China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong will all see shortened trading weeks as the Lunar New Year approaches.

In the U.S. on Thursday, all three major indexes ended little changed as traders digested the latest economic data and a fresh round of corporate earnings.

U.S. stock futures held steady on Friday after the major averages ended higher in the previous session, with the S&P 500 briefly touching the historic 5,000 milestone intraday. : Dow -0.07%; S&P 500 -0.01%; Nasdaq +0.09%.

Currencies: (JPY:USD), (CNY:USD), (AUD:USD), (INR:USD), (HKD:USD), (NZD:USD).

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William Murphy

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