- Fiserv to buy First Data in a $22 billion all-stock deal
- CEO of world's largest money manager: There would be a bullish surge on a US-China trade deal
- Mortgage applications surge 13.5% as borrowers rush to take advantage of lower rates
- As teachers get paid, learning returns to bombed-out Yemen school
- Austria’s Kurz ready for more talks with UK to stop disorderly Brexit
Asian shares recorded slight gains early in Friday trade, shrugging off the soggy close seen on Wall Street overnight amid investor concerns over U.S.-China trade talks.
Japanese markets traded slightly higher after the release of core consumer price index data, which showed a rise of 0.7 percent last month on year, slightly missing expectations. The Nikkei 225 added 0.18 percent and the broader Topix inched higher by 0.05 percent.
The yen extended losses against the dollar, trading at 110.86 to the greenback at 8:19 a.m. HK/SIN.
Elsewhere, the Kospi climbed by 0.33 percent as Samsung Electronics pared some of its overnight declines while other tech names were mixed. Shipbuilders also traded higher in the morning.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.18 percent. The health care and energy subindexes led gains in the morning, rising 2.95 percent and 1.08 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, financials, which are heavily weighted on the index, slipped.
Gains in Asia came on the back of slight declines seen stateside as investors digested news on ongoing U.S.-China trade talks and higher interest rates. Despite the slight declines seen in most major U.S. stock indexes, the small-cap Russell 2000 gained 0.55 percent to notch a fresh record close.
President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he doubted high-level U.S.-China trade negotiations would be successful as China, and other U.S. trading partners, had “become very spoiled.” His comments came as a second round of the bilateral talks began in Washington on Thursday.
The move higher in interest rates was also in focus, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbing to 3.122 percent in the last session — its highest level since August 2008. Yields on the two-year and five-year Treasury notes, as well as the 30-year Treasury bond, also touched multi-year highs.
Global benchmark Brent crude futures edged up by 0.19 percent to trade at $79.45 per barrel after rising as high as $80.50 per barrel, its highest since November 2014, in the last session. Meanwhile, U.S. crude futures added 0.1 percent to trade at $71.56.
On the corporate front, Tokio Marine Holdings is expected to release its full-year earnings later in the day. Meanwhile, Leshi Internet Information & Technology, the listed unit of troubled conglomerate LeEco, faces a May 18 deadline to respond to questions from the Shenzhen Stock Exchange over its business operations.