Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Friday after China’s commerce ministry said trade talks with the United States in Beijing were extensive and helped to establish a “foundation” to resolve differences.
Prospects for more Chinese stimulus to arrest the slowdown in growth and growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will pause its rate tightening cycle this year also underpinned sentiment.
China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 18.73 points or 0.74 percent to 2,553.83 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.55 percent to close at 26,667.27.
Japanese shares posted strong gains after Wall Street extended its rally into a fifth straight day on Thursday. The Nikkei average jumped 195.90 points or 0.97 percent to 20,359.70, taking overall gains for the week to 4.1 percent, the biggest weekly gain in more than two months. The broader Topix index closed 0.51 percent higher at 1,529.73.
Advantest, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Takeda Pharma and Hitachi climbed 4-9 percent. Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing rallied 6.2 percent despite reporting an unexpected decline in quarterly profit.
Olympus Corp soared almost 10 percent to reach a near three-month high after the medical equipment and camera maker said it would propose to give top shareholder U.S. hedge fund ValueAct Capital a board seat.
FamilyMart UNY Holdings declined 2.5 percent after its sales for the March-November period fell 1.7 percent.
In economic releases, Japan has a current account surplus of 757.2 billion yen in November, the Ministry of Finance said – exceeding expectations for a surplus of 566.3 billion yen and down from 1,309.9 billion yen in October.
The trade balance reflected a deficit of 559.1 billion yen versus expectations for a shortfall of 612.6 billion yen.
Another report showed that the average of household spending in Japan rose 0.3 percent year on year in November.
Australian markets fell modestly