Investing.com -- Most Asian stocks rose further on Friday, capping off a positive week on signs of cooling U.S. inflation, with focus now turning to upcoming data offering more cues on the Chinese economy.
Gains in Chinese stocks were limited as investors awaited key second-quarter gross domestic product data from the country, due next week. Comments from central bank officials on more stimulus measures offered little support to markets.
Regional stocks took positive cues from an overnight rally on Wall Street, as producer price index data further showed that inflation in the world’s largest economy was cooling. This in turn spurred bets that the Federal Reserve was close to reaching peak interest rates in its current cycle, sparking strong gains in technology stocks.
The trend spilled over into Asian trade, with tech-heavy bourses logging the strongest gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.6%, while the Taiwan Weighted index and South Korea’s KOSPI surged 1% and 1.2%, respectively.
Asian stocks mark stellar weekly gains
Most regional indexes were set for their best weekly gain so far this year, as waning fears of rising U.S. rates saw traders pile back into risk-driven assets.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was by far the best weekly performer, up nearly 6% as heavyweight technology stocks benefited from bets that the Chinese government will ease its regulatory scrutiny of the country’s biggest internet firms.
Taiwan and South Korean bourses rose 3.3% and 3.8%, respectively, while gains in commodity stocks saw Australia’s ASX 200 jump 3.6%.
The ASX 200 added 0.6% on Friday after the government named Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Michele Bullock as the new central bank governor.
Gains in Japan’s Nikkei 225 were somewhat muted this week, as a batch of weak economic readings in the country saw investors lock in profits from 33-year highs. The index rose 0.4% on Friday and was up 0.5% for the week.
India’s Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex 30 indexes saw limited gains for the week, up 0.4% and 1.3%, respectively. But both indexes notched record highs this week, amid increased optimism over the Indian economy.
Chinese shares lag amid economic uncertainty, GDP awaited
A swathe of weak economic readings over the past few weeks pointed to a slowing post-COVID economic recovery in the country, with a Reuters poll forecasting that the economy barely grew 0.5% in the second quarter.
A decision on China’s key Loan Prime Rate is also due next week, after the People’s Bank cut the rate for the first time in eight months in June. The move had provided limited relief to Chinese stocks, which are now trading negative for the year.
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