Asian Markets Mostly Higher

Asian stock markets traded mostly higher Friday after U.S. stocks rose overnight for the fifth straight session amid optimism that the U.S. and China will eventually reach a long-term trade deal. Comments by the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the U.S. central bank would be patient about raising interest rates helped to boost sentiment.

In a speech on Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stressed that the central bank has the “ability to be patient” with its plans to gradually raise interest rates. He echoed the tone of Fed officials who were present at a meeting last month.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.9% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6%.

The Shanghai Composite index added 0.7%.

Among individual stocks, Japan’s Fast Retailing owner of Uniqlo stores, jumped 6% despite reporting an 8% slump in year-over-year operating profit last quarter. Shares of camera makers Olympus and Nikon surged.

In Hong Kong, Apple component makers AAC and Sunny Optical continued to rebound from last week’s losses.

Samsung rose more than 1% in Korea.


South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6%

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 slipped 0.3%

Shares rose in Taiwan 0.40%

Malaysia inched ahead 0.26%