Asian stocks gained on Friday, rebounding from a two-day drop, as US non-farm payrolls data confirmed the strength of the world’s largest economy and oil prices remained under US$50 per barrel.
Seven out of 11 industry gauges in the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index rose, led by healthcare and consumer discretionary companies.
The index on Friday rose 0.5 percent to 144.35, little changed from last week’s 143.80, with gainers outnumbering decliners by 584 to 370.
Shares in Taiwan closed down amid lingering fears over the possibility of a US interest rate hike next week, dealers said.
The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange slipped by 30.72 points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 9,627.89. The index is down 0.2 percent from last week’s 9,648.21 points.
Japan’s TOPIX on Friday climbed 1.2 percent, the most in a week.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index advanced 0.3 percent for the day while the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.1 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.6 percent.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.5 percent after authorities announced a reduction in property stamp duty and total debt servicing.
India’s S&P BSE SENSEX added 0.1 percent after most exit polls showed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party leading in the race for power in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
WEEKLY DECLINE IN HK
Chinese stocks traded in Hong Kong on Friday posted the year’s first back-to-back weekly decline amid tightening liquidity and renewed yuan depreciation pressures.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index retreated 0.3 percent, extending a five-day drop to 0.7 percent.
Energy companies were among the biggest decliners for the day, with PetroChina Co (中國石油天然氣) falling to a three-month low as oil prices slumped overnight.
Wharf Holdings Ltd (九龍倉) led a gauge of property companies higher after reporting a surge in full-year profit.
The H-share gauge has lost its momentum after reaching a 15-month high on Feb. 22, with some of the companies that had led the rally dropping particularly hard.
Additional reporting by CNA
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