Asia Rises Ahead U.S. Payroll Data

Stocks in Asia uniformly rose on Friday ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls data for November expected to be released later in the day stateside.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 54.31 points, or 0.2%, to 23,354.40. Data released Friday showed October household expenditure in Japan dropping 5.1% year-on-year in real terms, following a sales tax hike that took place in that month.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.64 per U.S. dollar after strengthening from levels above 108.8 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index popped 281.33 points, or 1.1%, to 26,498.37, with shares of Chinese tech juggernauts Alibaba picking up 2.7% and Tencent jumping 1.7%.

Korea was back into the plus column, as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics added 1.8% and chipmaker SK Hynix jumped 2.3%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6842 after rising from levels below $0.678 earlier in the week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 added 23.03 points, or 0.6%, to 3,902.39

Media reports circulated Friday that China’s finance ministry said the country will waive import tariffs for certain soybean and pork shipments from the U.S., without providing further detail.

Markets have seen a rocky start to December amid conflicting headlines on the U.S.-China trade front ahead of a closely watched date of Dec. 15 when additional tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. go into effect.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex moved north 14.99 points, or 0.1%, to 11,609.64

In Korea, the Kospi recuperated 21.11 points, or 1%, to 2,081.85

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index strengthened 20.52 points, or 0.7%, to 3,194.71

In New Zealand, the NZX jumped 18.41 points, or 0.2%, to 11,276.20

In Australia, the ASX 200 acquired 24.06 points, or 0.4%, to 6,707.02