Asian stocks advanced in morning trading Friday, rebounding from broad selling a day earlier, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed some of its midweek pullback.
Rebounds are a broad theme across asset classes as the week comes to an end. Oil prices rose about 1.5% Thursday, helping Asian energy stocks Friday, while the yen gained momentum yesterday following its own recent pause.
The Japanese currency’s strength limited the Nikkei Stock Average’s morning gains to 0.4%, trailing advances elsewhere in the region.
The dollar was recently at ¥106.90 after nearing ¥108 midweek. But the yen did fall slightly in Asian trading as Japan’s core inflation rose 0.9% in January from a year earlier, slightly faster than the 0.8% expected by economists.
Though a pickup in inflation is widely anticipated globally for 2018, that is likely to remain elusive in Japan and result in the Bank of Japan probably being the last major central bank to pull back on its easy-money policies, said Brian Beitner, managing partner at Chautauqua Capital Management.
“There’s no reason for the Bank of Japan to lean against an overheating economy,” he added. “But there’s not a big incentive for them to stimulate the economy, either.”
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index jumped 1.3% to lead the region’s gains after sliding nearly that much yesterday.
South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.1% as Samsung Electronics—after having dropped every day this week—rebounded 1.8%. Taiwan and Singapore gained 1%, while Australia’s benchmark gained 0.8% on strength in commodities stocks.
Oil futures turned slightly higher by late morning in Asia after a modest pullback earlier.
In other markets, bitcoin has fallen to $9,600—a one-week low for the most well-known cryptocurrency—after nearly reaching $11,000 on Thursday, according to CoinDesk. Ether, a rival cryptocurrency that trades on the Ethereum blockchain, is at a two-week low of around $800.