Asian markets were sharply higher Friday after better-than-expected economic data, a rebound in the U.S. dollar and falling oil prices and triggered a rally on Wall Street. Both Japan and Australia closed 2 percent higher.
South Korean exports in April rose more than expected and by their fastest annual pace in more than three years, data showed on Thursday, easing worries about the impact of a sluggish global economy on the country's sales abroad.
China's official purchasing managers' index rose to 59.2 in April from 58.4 in March, boosted by strength in output and new orders, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said on Thursday.
The Japanese and Australian markets closed lower in the afternoon session Thursday. Trading was quiet with most markets in the region closed for the Labour Day holiday.
Most Asian markets closed lower Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve rate decision later in the session. Japan finished slightly lower, but Shanghai was the stand out performer, up almost 5 percent.
Singapore's unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 2 percent in the first quarter amid mounting uncertainties in the global economy, and analysts warned the jobless rate may climb higher in the months ahead.
Japan's industrial production fell far more than expected in March, pushing up Japanese bond prices and stoking worries that U.S. economic woes are hitting Japanese companies.
Asian markets were lackluster on Tuesday following a flat finish in the U.S. stock market. But Greater China shares remained firm on the back of positive corporate earnings. Most investors were sidelined and cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting.
Asian markets trimmed their early gains on Monday as investors took a breather following a rally in financial stocks. But many remained optimistic that the banking sector may finally be putting the credit crunch behind it.
A bounce in the U.S. dollar lifted some Asian stock markets on Friday, while crude oil sank further from its recent $120 a barrel record, dragging energy firms down but boosting airline counters. Japan finished at a two-month high.
Japanese annual inflation hit a decade-high 1.2 percent in March, as energy prices soar, but the central bank is expected to sit tight on interest rates in the face of a soft economic outlook at home and abroad.
South Korea's economy set the slowest quarterly growth in more than three years in the first quarter as demand cooled both at home and abroad, raising chances of an interest rate cut as early as next month.
Asian stocks were mixed in the afternoon session Thursday with Japan and Australia closing lower. But the Shanghai market took centerstage, surging as much as 9.5 percent at one point after a stamp duty tax cut gave flagging Chinese stocks a boost.
Asian markets were stronger Wednesday, shrugging off the burden of near $120-a-barrel oil and a record high euro, to continue a rally that has recovered all the ground lost last month. Shanghai surged over 4 percent, while Australia gained 1.6 percent.
Asian markets came under pressure on Tuesday after U.S. stocks pulled in a mixed performance. Investors sold financials following weak earnings from Bank of America.
Asian stocks rose to their highest level in seven weeks on Monday, as investors cheered upbeat earnings from U.S. bellwethers which triggered a rally in U.S. stocks last Friday.
Asian markets eked out some gains Friday. Stocks spent the better part of the session dipping below and above the line. Japan and South Korea pulled ahead at the close, finishing higher, but China and Australia closed weaker.
South Korea agreed on Friday to open its market to U.S. beef, boosting prospects for a sweeping trade deal, ahead of a Camp David summit between leaders of the two allies later in the day.
Asian stock indexes made firm gains Thursday, with the exception of the Shanghai Composite Index, boosted by financial and technology stocks with Japan, South Korea and Australia all closing stronger.
Asian markets moved forward Wednesday, with high-tech exporters buoyed by a reassuring outlook from industry leader Intel and energy shares underpinned by record high oil prices. Japan and Australia both closed over 1 percent higher