Asia markets largely positive as semiconductor and Apple supplier stocks jump

  • Asia markets were broadly positive on Friday as semiconductor-related and Apple supplier stocks rose.
  • The U.S. was "under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us," U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter after reports that Washington officials had reached out to Beijing to restart trade negotiations.

Asia markets were largely positive on the final trading day of the week, as stocks of semiconductor-related companies and Apple suppliers jumped.

The Nikkei 225 closed 1.2 percent higher at 23,094.67, with the shipping sector surging by 2.31 percent. South Korea's Kospi also ended the trading week higher by 1.4 percent 2,318.25.

Down Under, the ASX 200 climbed 0.6 percent to close at 6,165.3 with its major banks seeing gains, as AMP shares recovered from their earlier slump to end the trading week higher by 0.32 percent.

In Greater China markets, the Hang Seng index extended its gains from yesterday to close higher by 0.97 percent at 27,277.16. Over on the mainland, however, markets bucked the overall positive trend. The Shanghai composite slid by 0.18 percent to close at 2,681.65 while the Shenzhen composite ended 0.782 percent lower at 1,402.51.

The moves in the region came after China reported that its fixed asset investment growth in the first eight months of 2018 had reached a new low, despite official industrial output and retail sales data coming in above expectations.

Semiconductors bounce back

Semiconductor stocks in Asia saw a strong rebound on Friday.

In Japan, semiconductor test equipment manufacturer Advantest saw its stock jump higher by 4.98 percent, while South Korea's major chip manufacturers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix bounced back more than 4 percent.

The moves among the chipmakers came on the back of Micron's strong rebound overnight on Wall Street, with investor David Tepper's positive comments about the company's future.

Speaking on CNBC's "Halftime Report" on Thursday, Tepper said he was still "very, very long" on the American chipmaker's shares.

The sector tumbled yesterday after a warning earlier from Goldman Sachs about slowing growth in chip demand.

Apple suppliers in Taiwan surge

Stocks of Apple's suppliers in Taiwan soared on Friday after the tech giant unveiled a suite of products including its new generation of iPhones earlier this week.

Largan Precision, which supplies Apple with smartphone camera lenses, rose 7.18 percent while iPhone assembler Pegatron saw its stock jumping 7.72 percent. Contract manufacturing giant Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, also saw its stock climb by 2.5 percent.

Stocks of Apple also saw similar gains during Thursday's trading session stateside, rising by about 2.4 percent.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
---
SHANGHAI
---
KOSPI
---
CNBC 100
---

US markets watch the trade war

Overnight on Wall Street, gains by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were limited by continued concerns around trade following a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump said on Thursday that Washington was "under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us." He added that the U.S. "will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home."

Trump's response came after reports on Wednesday said the U.S. was seeking to restart trade negotiations with China as the two economic powerhouses remain locked in conflict with no resolution in sight.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 94.439 as of 3:33 p.m. HK/SIN, weakening slightly from earlier in the day but still off its low for the week.

The Japanese yen reversed course to trade slightly stronger against the dollar at 111.82, while the Australian dollar saw gains of 0.25 percent at $0.7210, as of 3:33 p.m. HK/SIN.

In oil markets, prices remained up in the afternoon of Asian trade after yesterday seeing their largest single day decline in almost a month. As of 3:35 p.m. HK/SIN, the global benchmark Brent crude futures contract was higher by 0.37 percent at $78.47 per barrel while U.S. crude futures saw gains of 0.55 percent to settle at $68.97 per barrel.

— Reuters contributed to this report.