Asia Higher as Investors Digest Earnings

Most major Asian indexes closed higher in Friday trade as the euro extended losses after Thursday news from the European Central Bank.
That followed U.S. stocks closing mostly higher and then several big name tech companies reporting expectation-topping results.

The Nikkei 225 index skyrocketed 268.67 points, or 1.2%, to end the week at 22,008.45.

Banking and tech shares led gains on the index: SMFG jumped 2.2%, Mitsubishi UFJ soared 2.8% and Canon rose 1.8%. Sharp closed up 3.6% ahead of its third-quarter earnings release.

Shares of Subaru closed down 2.6% following news the automaker had not complied with inspection rules. Subaru had allowed uncertified personnel to inspect vehicles at a factory complex

Core consumer prices in September increased 0.7% compared to a year ago, government data showed. Consumer prices rose 0.2% if the effect of fresh food and energy was removed.

The Hang Seng Index hiked 236.47 points, or 0.8%, to 28,438.85 as investors digested quarterly earnings reports from top Chinese companies. China Construction Bank shares traded in Hong Kong rose 3.6% despite the 4.1% increase in third-quarter profit missing a forecast 6.1% rise in a economist poll. China Life Insurance was up more than 2% after the company posted strong results on Thursday.

Korean markets gained with manufacturing stocks notching strong gains in the session: Samsung Heavy closed up 5.4%, Hyundai Steel rose 4.9% and Samsung Engineering gained 4.6%.

Australian markets faded a mite, although the energy sub-index led gains on the broader index. Oil Search closed up 0.8%, Beach Energy jumped 4.2% and Origin Energy gained 2%

Australian dairy processor Murray Goulburn has consented to a buyout from Canada’s Saputo, valued up to 637.8 million Australian dollars ($488 million U.S.). Bega Cheese, an Australian company earlier reported to be an interested party, said late on Thursday it was bowing out of the race, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Macquarie Group shares outperformed Australian financials in morning trade after the bank announced a record-first half profit. Net profit for the period rose 19% to 1.25 billion Australian dollars ($96 million U.S.), topping expectations. Macquarie stock closed up 3.9% outperforming other banking stocks.

The Australian dollar clawed back some gains after falling as low as $0.7623 U.S. on the news. Still, the Aussie currency was lower on the day, last trading at $0.7638 U.S. compared to Thursday's close of $0.7660.

The European Central Bank on Thursday said it would reduce monthly asset purchases to 30 billion euros ($35 billion U.S.) from 60 billion euros beginning in January 2018. Those purchases would extend until at least September next year, the central bank said.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 28.39 points, or 0.7%, to 4,021.97

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,496.63

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index was lower 25.65 points, or 0.2%, to 10,709.11

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index advanced 30.19 points, or 0.9%, to 3,386.44

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 1.75 points to 8,084.99

In Australia, the ASX 200 lost 13.14 points, or 0.2%, to 5,903.16