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Asian shares look set to advance following strong Wall Street lead

U.S. stocks closed higher, Brent crude rose above the $70 mark and the euro jumped against the greenback ahead of Asia’s Friday trading session.

Major U.S. indexes rose in the previous session after recording slight losses on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.81 percent, or 205.60 points, to finish the session with a record close of 25,574.73.

Other major indexes saw similar gains, with the S&P 500 closing 0.7 percent higher and the Nasdaq composite climbing 0.81 percent by the end of the session.

Ahead, major U.S. banks are due to report quarterly results during the U.S. session as earnings season kicks off.

In Asia Pacific, futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Japanese equities on the last trading day of the week. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.36 percent at 23,795 and Osaka futures were 0.08 percent firmer at 23,730. compared to the index’s last close.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.19 percent in early trade.

For their part, Asian markets have had a solid start to the new year, with major indexes, such as the Nikkei 225, climbing more than 2.5 percent in the month. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose for the 13th straight day on Thursday and closed within sight of its all-time high.

The euro rose as high as $1.2059 from the $1.19 handle in the last session following the release of European Central Bank minutes construed as hawkish by markets. At 6:50 a.m. HK/SIN, the common currency traded at $1.2034.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against six major peers, fell 0.5 percent to 91.866.

The move lower in the greenback also came after producer prices stateside declined for the first time in more than a year in December. The producer price index declined 0.1 percent last month compared to the month prior, which compared to an increase of 0.2 percent forecast in a Reuters poll.

Among other market moves, Brent crude’s price per barrel scaled the $70 level in the last session before paring some gains to settle at $69.26 — its highest close in three years. U.S. crude futures rose 23 cents to settle at $63.80 per barrel.

The rise in prices of the commodity have been supported by output cuts led by OPEC and tighter U.S. inventories, but analysts have said it could be hard for prices to rise much further.

China is a key focus on the economic calendar for Friday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 12:00 p.m.: Indonesia trade data
  • 12:00 p.m.: Malaysia retail sales
  • 1:00 p.m.: Singapore retail sales
  • 8:00 p.m.: India inflation
  • China trade data is expected during the day

Source: cnbc china
Asian shares look set to advance following strong Wall Street lead

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