Asia Almost Uniformly Positive Friday

Markets in Asia finished the session mostly higher on Friday as investors digested the release of China trade data. U.S. inflation and retail sales data are also due just ahead of the trading day stateside.

The Nikkei 225 index ripped its way higher 200.46 points, or 1%, to conclude a wild week at 21,155.18, after touching a fresh 21-year high earlier in the session.

The Hang Seng Index tacked on another 17.4 points, or 0.1%, to 28,476.43

Retail names gained although automakers recorded slight declines: Fast Retailing soared 5.6%, Seven & I Holdings rose 2.8% and Toyota closed down 0.4%.

Against the Japanese currency, the U.S. dollar fell to trade at 111.89 yen.

Japan's Asahi Group Holdings could sell its almost-20% stake in Tsingtao Brewery, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The move to divest from Tsingtao was in line with the Japanese brewer's push to grow its business in Europe, Nikkei added. Asahi stock finished the session up 1.8%.

Shares of Tsingtao traded on the mainland jumped 5% by the end of the session while Hong Kong-listed shares surged 4.5% by late afternoon.

In Korea, tech stocks were mixed after Samsung indicated it was on track for record profits, while retailers and cosmetic plays rallied: Shinsegae closed up 5.6% and Amorepacific surged 6.5%

Samsung said its vice chairman and chief executive officer, Oh-Hyun Kwon, had decided to step down from management. The announcement came after the company said third-quarter operating profit was likely to increase 179% compared to one year ago. Shares of the company closed down 1.5%, having rallied early this week on profit expectations.

In economic news, advance third-quarter Singapore Gross Domestic Product showed the economy grew 4.6% compared to the same quarter in the previous year. That was above the 3.8% growth median figure forecast by analysts. The city-state's central bank also said Friday it would be holding monetary policy steady.

In Australia, the telecommunications sub-index led gains on the index, rising 0.8% on the day.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 advanced 8.05 points, or 0.2%, to 3,921

China September exports in dollar terms rose 8.1% compared to one year ago while imports increased 18.7% in the same period. The rise in imports topped economist estimates while the increase in exports came just short. Still, the exports increase in September was higher than the 5.5% seen in August.

Additionally, the country's trade surplus in dollar terms came in at its lowest levels since March

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 advanced 8.05 points, or 0.2%, to 3,921

In Korea, the Kospi index docked 1.14 points, or 0.1%, to 2,473.62

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index added 12.65 points, or 0.1%, to 10,724.09

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 16.02 points, or 0.5%, to 3,319.11

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 21.2 points, or 0.3%, to 8,089.32

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved forward 19.69 points, or 0.3%, to 5,814.15