Asia Higher to End Week

Shares in Asia-Pacific largely rose on Friday, with investors monitoring shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong after the Chinese tech giant posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 regained 176.84 points, or 0.7%, to 26,781.68, as shares of conglomerate SoftBank Group surged 3.4%.

The Japanese yen traded at 127.05 per U.S. dollar, still stronger than levels above 127.8 seen against the greenback earlier this week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index leaped 581.16 points, or 2.9%, to 20,697.36.

Shares of Alibaba listed in the city surged 12.2% after it reported Thursday fourth-quarter earnings of 7.95 yuan ($1.18 U.S.) per share, excluding items, on revenues of 204.05 billion yuan ($30.28 billion).

That was higher than analyst expectations for earnings of 7.31 yuan a share on CNY199.25 billion in revenue, according to StreetAccount.

Other Chinese tech stocks in the city also had sizable gains, with Tencent rising 2.3% while Netease surged 4.4%

Australia’s retail sales rose 0.9% in April to “another record level,” according to a Friday media release from the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

Following the data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7144, continuing to hold above the $0.705 level that it momentarily fell below earlier in the week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 inched up 8.26 points, or 0.2%, to 4,001.30.

Chinese authorities held an unprecedented nationwide meeting via teleconference on Wednesday in a bid to bolster an economy battered by COVID, with Premier Li Keqiang warning of difficulties “even greater than the severe shock of the pandemic in 2020.”

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex 297.39 points, or 1.9%, to 16,266.22

In Korea, the Kospi index surged 25.6 points, or 1%, to 2,638.05.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index heightened 21.37 points, or 0.7%, to 3,230.55

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 37.69 points, or 0.3%, to 11,065.15.

In Australia, the ASX 200 sprang back up again 76.83 points, or 1.1%, to 7,182.71.

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