Major Asian indexes continued to rise on Friday, though the upside movement was not as strong as it was yesterday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 inched up by only 0.05%, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose by 0.39%. The South Korean index KOSPI gained 0.7%, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slipped by 0.01%. Trading on Chinese exchanges is still suspended on the occasion of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Asian indexes followed their US counterparts, which rose as much as 2% the day before. The US stock market was driven by positive US GDP data. In Q4 2022, US GDP grew by 2.9%, exceeding the forecasted 2.6% increase. At the same time, analysts warned traders about being too optimistic due to some alarming signals from manufacturing and services sectors.
On the KOSPI, Shin-Etsu Chemical rose by 4.2%, Yaskawa Electric increased by 3.7%, Chiba Bank gained 3.6%, while Sony and Toyota Motor added 1% and 0.4%, respectively.
According to the latest data from Australia, the producer price index rose by 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2022 following a 1.9% increase in the third quarter. PPI growth reached the slowest pace in a year and a half after rising for ten quarters in a row.
The S&P/ASX 200 was boosted by BHP, which gained 0.6%, as well as Rio Tinto, which added 0.4%.
Fortescue Metals Group, Ltd. was up by 0.04% thanks to record high iron ore production in the last quarter of 2022, as well as lower production costs compared to the previous quarter.
Korean stocks on the KOSPI were mixed, with Samsung Electronics adding 1.1%, and Hyunda Motor losing 0.6%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was pushed down by a number of stocks, such as Xinyi Solar Holdings, Ltd., which fell by 3.5%, and Lenovo Group, Ltd. which dropped by 3%. Haier Smart Home, Co. Ltd. lost 2.3%, while Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. declined by 1.3%. At the same time, shares of JD.com, Inc. gained 1.8%.