Asian stocks extend gains amid relief over lack of trade escalation, tracking US rally

Asian shares extended gains on Friday after Wall Street rebounded as technology stocks there touched all-time highs. There was also some relief coming from the lack of escalation in trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.35 percent as stocks extended Thursday’s gains. Electric appliances led gains in the morning, up 1.56 percent. Among index heavyweights, Fast Retailing advanced 4.79 percent after posting robust earnings overnight while Fanuc gained 2.91 percent.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.85 percent as automakers, technology and banks all rose. Slimmer gains were seen in Australia, with the S&P/ASX 200 edging up by 0.24 percent in the morning.

The firmer footing in Asian markets came after U.S. stocks rebounded on Thursday, given a boost by the surge in the technology sector as investors turned their attention once more to earnings season.

The Nasdaq composite gained 1.39 percent to end at 7,823.92, recording its largest one-day gain since June 1. Other U.S. indexes also posted gains.

Friday’s extended recovery in markets also followed the relative calm on the trade front overnight, with the Chinese commerce ministry saying Thursday that China had not been in touch with the U.S. about restarting trade talks, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that bilateral talks on trade could resume on the condition that China was open to making “serious efforts” to change, the news agency said.

“Markets found some relief overnight on a lack of trade escalation and perceptions that China is taking a slightly more conciliatory tone,” ANZ analysts said in a morning note.

Global markets had slumped earlier in the week after the Trump administration released a list targeting $200 billion in Chinese goods with a 10 percent tariff. The duties are set to take effect only after going through a review process.

The unveiling of the list came after U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods took effect last week. Chinese tariffs on the same amount of U.S. products also kicked in last Friday.

In currencies, the dollar strengthened against the yen to trade at 112.66 at 8:09 a.m. HK/SIN, earlier touching a six-month high overnight. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, stood at 94.889.

Ahead, China trade data for the month of June is due to be released.

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