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Japan Leads Gains as Asia Stocks Rise Ahead of U.S. Jobs Data

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg | Getty Images
  • Asia-Pacific stocks climbed in Friday morning trade.
  • Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed on Friday for a holiday.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged more than 2% overnight on Wall Street as the three major indexes stateside snapped two-day losing streaks.
  • OPEC and its oil-producing allies agreed Thursday to hike output in July and August by a larger-than-expected amount as Russia's invasion of Ukraine roils global energy markets.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific rose on Friday as several major regional markets were closed for a holiday and investors looked ahead to the release of U.S. jobs data for May.

Japanese stocks led gains among the region's major markets, with the Nikkei 225 gaining 1.27% on the day to 27,761.57 as shares of Fast Retailing soared 5.86%. The Topix index rose 0.35% to 1,933.14.

The Kospi in South Korea edged 0.44% higher to close at 2,670.65, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.88% to end its trading day at 7,238.80.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.51% higher.

"It is premature, if not incorrect, to suggest that the bearish sentiment in markets may have peaked. We have argued, in our daily and ad-hoc publications, that bouts of optimism in a bear market are par for the course," Lavanya Venkateswaran, an economist at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a Friday note.

Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed on Friday for a holiday.

OPEC+ hikes output

OPEC and its oil-producing allies agreed Thursday to hike output in July and August by a larger-than-expected amount as Russia's invasion of Ukraine roils global energy markets.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours .International benchmark Brent crude futures sat below the flatline, trading at $117.59 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.1% to $116.75 per barrel.

The market is rightly "skeptical" about the move by OPEC and its allies, according to Amrita Sen, head of research at Energy Aspects.

"Basically we've moved the needle by about 100,000 barrels per day on average in terms of actual production because we just don't have enough spare capacity," she told CNBC's "Capital Connection" on Friday. "Russian production continues to fall so it's just simply not going to change the picture very much."

Overnight on Wall Street, the three major indexes stateside snapped two-day losing streaks. The S&P 500 jumped 1.84% to 4,176.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 435.05 points, or 1.33%, to 33,248.28. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.69% to 12,316.90.

U.S. jobs data for May is set to be out at 8:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones see 328,000 jobs added in May, a 100,000 decline from April.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.719 following a volatile week so far that has seen it going from below 101.6 to above 102.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 129.92 per dollar, weaker as compared with levels below 128 seen against the greenback earlier this week, The Australian dollar was at $0.7252 after a recent jump from below $0.721.

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