Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher

Asian stocks rose broadly on Friday in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech on tax reform and positive regional manufacturing data.

Subdued U.S. inflation figures also added to bets that the Federal Reserve will hold off from increasing interest rates again this year.

The focus remained on the all-important U.S. jobs report due tonight, with economists expecting the report to show an increase of about 180,000 jobs in August.

Chinese shares rose modestly to cap their third week of gains after a private survey showed Chinese manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in six months in August, buoyed by a surge in export orders and higher prices.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 6.31 points or 0.19 percent to 3,367.12 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was marginally lower in late trade.

Japanese shares edged higher as the dollar held steady against the yen and the latest survey from Nikkei showed activity in Japan’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in August and at a faster rate.

Capital spending figures for the second quarter missed forecasts and a gauge of consumer sentiment weakened more-than-expected in August, taking some shine off the manufacturing data.

The Nikkei average rose 45.23 points or 0.23 percent to 19,691.47, taking its weekly gain to 1.2 per cent. The broader Topix index closed 0.13 percent higher at 1,619.59, led by exporters and technology stocks. Airline ANA Holdings rallied 2.9 percent on fund raising reports.

Australian shares finished modestly higher, driven by gains in the healthcare and material sectors. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index inched up 10.10 points or 0.18 percent to 5,724.60 while the broader All Ordinaries index closed up 9.80 points or 0.17 percent at 5,786.10.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia shed 0.4 percent after reports of large-scale failures in transaction monitoring across its U.S., Asia and Europe businesses. Goodman Group Pty Ltd and GPT Group fell modestly after a report showed house price growth stalled in August.

Separately, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that Australia’s manufacturing sector expanded for the 11th straight month in August.

Copper miner OZ Minerals climbed 2.3 percent to extend Thursday’s gains on firmer copper prices. BHP Billiton edged up 0.2 percent after raising the amount it plans to spend under its U.S. bond buy back plan.

Rival Rio Tinto advanced 0.7 percent after completing the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal…

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