Asia markets higher as investors await China’s industrial production data

Asia markets higher as investors await China’s industrial production data

Stocks in Asia traded higher Friday morning, ahead of the release of Chinese economic data expected later in the day.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.15% while the Topix index added 0.8%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.26%.

Shares in Australia also saw gains, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 1.12%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.27% higher.

On the economic data front, China’s industrial production and fixed asset investment for April is set to be out at around 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN.

The data could provide further clues as to how quickly China, where the first cases of the coronavirus pandemic were reported, has managed to restart its economy following lockdown measures implemented earlier in the year.

Overnight on Wall Street, the  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 377.37 points higher at 23,625.34 while the S&P 500 ended its trading day 1.15% higher at 2,852.50. The Nasdaq Composite closer 0.9% higher at 8,943.72. Thursday’s moves stateside, however, still left the major averages on track for their worst weekly performance since March 20. 

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 100.272 after earlier touching levels around 100.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.41 per dollar after weakening from levels around 106.8 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.6468, off highs above $0.654 seen earlier this week.

Oil prices were mixed in the morning of Asian trading hours. The international benchmark Brent crude futures contract added 0.26% to $31.21 per barrel. U.S. crude futures, on the other hand, shed 0.54% to $27.41 per barrel.

What’s on tap for Friday:

  • China: Industrial production, fixed asset investment, retail sales data for April at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN

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