By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Most Asian markets rose Friday as bargain buyers accumulated beaten-down stocks ahead of the weekend, taking a positive view on the rebound in commodity prices despite another day of losses on Wall Street.
The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 +2.30% rallied 2.1% to extend weekly gains, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.17% jumped 2.3% to snap a a five-day losing streak.
The Taiex rose 1.8% in Taipei, where heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. got a boost from upbeat forecasts.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.34% climbed 0.7%, South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.67% added 0.4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.25% gained 0.2%.
The advance came as investors looked past another day of losses on Wall Street overnight, with U.S. equity index futures pointing to gains on Friday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 78 points, or 0.5%, to 14,488, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.6% each in the wake of post-earnings gains for shares of Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +0.30% and Google Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +0.46% in U.S. after-hours trade.
“If selling on the broader indices does not accelerate lower from current levels ... we can expect higher levels into next week. Any modest decline in U.S. equity markets will likely be used as a buying opportunity while the Federal Reserve continues to support the market with liquidity,” said Rivkin Securities analyst Tim Radford.
The day’s rally helped most regional indexes pare losses suffered earlier in the week, which began with a disappointing set of economic indicators from China, and a steep fall in gold prices.
The Shanghai Composite rose 1.7% this week, followed by a 1.4% gain for the Taiex. On the downside, the Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3%, the Kospi lost 0.9% and the S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.6%, while Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.3%, snapping a three-week rally.
Mainland Chinese shares clinched gains across most sectors and were on track for a weekly advance, signaling the market had overcome the hit to sentiment from a disappointing set of data reported on Monday, including first-quarter economic growth.
Brokerage firms and commodity shares led the advance, with Haitong Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/203443667/delayed CN:600837 +5.01% rising 4.4%, Citic Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/210326178/delayed CN:600030 +5.92% /zigman2/quotes/207216844/delayed CIIHF -8.45% gaining 5.5%, and Jiangxi Copper Co. /zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed CN:600362 +1.29% /zigman2/quotes/204256025/delayed JIXAY -2.94% adding 2.5%.
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The Hong Kong-listed shares of Haitong Securities /zigman2/quotes/207313420/delayed HK:6837 +4.70% rose 5.1%, Citic Securities /zigman2/quotes/208139708/delayed HK:6030 +3.07% /zigman2/quotes/210326178/delayed CN:600030 +5.92% soared 7%, and Jiangxi Copper /zigman2/quotes/201668148/delayed HK:358 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/201334192/delayed CN:600362 +1.29% added 3.2%.
Shares of Lenovo Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205368244/delayed HK:992 +7.01% /zigman2/quotes/204000062/delayed LNVGY +0.76% surged 9.5% following reports that the Hong Kong-listed computer maker was in talks to buy International Business Machines Corp.’s /zigman2/quotes/203856914/composite IBM -0.16% servers business.
Shares of TSMC /zigman2/quotes/207385621/delayed TW:2330 -0.31% /zigman2/quotes/204359850/composite TSM +2.60% jumped 6.6% in Taipei trading after the company issued an upbeat guidance for the second quarter and raised its capital expenditure plan for this year.
The resource sector was buoyed after a generally higher finish for commodities overnight, providing some relief to stocks that had been beaten down earlier in the week.
In Sydney, mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -0.25% /zigman2/quotes/201448516/delayed AU:BHP +0.05% and Rio Tinto Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -0.15% /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO +0.05% climbed 2.5% and 4.3%, respectively.
Korea Zinc Co. /zigman2/quotes/202765860/delayed KR:010130 -2.82% rallied 6.4% in Seoul, and Pacific Metals Co. /zigman2/quotes/203626509/delayed PFMTF 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/209253802/delayed JP:5541 0.00% rose 1.1% in Tokyo.
Shares of Sharp Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203224600/delayed JP:6753 +0.95% /zigman2/quotes/200401218/delayed SHCAY -1.05% rose 4.2% after the Nikkei business daily reported the company will supply Samsung Electronics Co. /zigman2/quotes/202367843/delayed SSNLF 0.00% /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 -0.33% with energy-saving liquid-crystal-display or LCD panels for notebook computers.
Samsung shares fell 0.5% in Seoul.