Stocks in Asia continued their previous day’s momentum on Friday, posting gains ahead of the release of U.S. nonfarm employment data. The rebound in oil and commodity prices also helped lift Asian shares.
If the U.S. jobs data show a strong gain, investors are betting that Fed could raise interest rates this year. There have been fears that weak economic data could delay rate hikes although the market was expecting up to four interest rates increases in 2016.
What happened in Asia?
Japanese stocks closed up Friday with the Nikkei 225 gaining 0.32% to finish at 17,014.78. Most for the support came from Shipbuilding, Mining, Petroleum and Plastics and Chemical industries.
In the commodities market, crude oil futures for April delivery were up 0.67% to $34.80 per barrel. Gold contracts also jumped 0.39% to $1263.10 per troy ounce.
In Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted rose 0.37% mostly on the support of Information services, oil/gas/electricity and Other Electronics sectors. The gain saw the index touch a new 3-month high.
In China, The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.50%, adding to the widespread stock gains in Asia.
Gold and Resources drive gains in Australia
Australian stocks were mostly up Friday, driven for the most part by Resources, Gold/Metals and Mining industries. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.18% to also touch a fresh one-month high.
At the same time, the S&P/ASX 200 VIX was down 4.94% to touch a new one-month low of 18.058. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX tracks S&P/ASX 200’s implied volatility.
As for the commodities, gold futures for April deliveries rose 0.40% in Australian market to $1263.20 per troy ounce. Crude oil for April delivery was also up 0.61% to $34.78 per barrel.
U.S. stocks register gains
The gains in Asian stocks came on the back of the overnight gains in U.S. stocks in a trend that is expected to continue to day and also spread to Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.26% on Thursday and the S&P 500 went up 0.35%. The NASDAQ Composite continued the trend, registering a 0.09% increase.