Asia Hikes on ECB Stimulus, Trade Hope

Stocks in Asia rose on Friday as investors digested a series of overnight developments on the U.S.-China trade front as well as the European Central Bank (ECB).

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index galloped 228.68 points, or 1.1%, to 21,988.29, as shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing advanced 0.6%, and Softbank Group gained 3.2%.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.00 after touching an earlier low of 108.26.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index regained 265.06 points, or 1%, to 27,352.69, with shares of life insurer AIA up 1.2%.

The moves in Asia came after U.S. President Donald Trump signaled Thursday he would consider an interim trade deal with China, though it would not be preferred.

The president told reporters he would like to ink a full agreement with Beijing, however he left the door open to striking a limited deal.

Meanwhile, the ECB on Thursday cut its deposit rate by 10 basis points and launched a new bond buying program. The central bank also said it will buy €20 billion (approx. $22 billion U.S.) worth of assets for as long as needed.

In a press conference following the decision, ECB President Mario Draghi urged governments to take fiscal measures to supplement the central bank’s monetary stimulus and reinvigorate the euro zone economy.

Australian markets eked up. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6869 following an earlier low of $0.6856.

In other markets

Markets in Korea, Taiwan and mainland China were shuttered for holiday.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index reacquired 16.53 points, or 0.5%, to 3,211.49

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 41.65 points, or 0.4%, to 10,863.41

In Australia, the ASX 200 added 13.61 points, or 0.2%, to 6,669.18