Asia stocks mostly trade higher amid improving investor sentiment following US gains – CNBC

Asia stocks mostly traded higher Friday morning amid improved investor sentiment following overnight gains on Wall Street.

The mainland Chinese markets, watched in relation to the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington, saw gains in early trade. The Shanghai composite rose more than 0.2 percent while the Shenzhen composite advanced 0.293 percent. The Shenzhen component also rose 0.303 percent.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index saw fractional gains.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose more than 0.8 percent in morning trade while the Topix index gained around 0.4 percent. Shares of Fast Retailing, the company behind the Uniqlo chain of apparel stores, surged almost 5 percent despite reporting a more than 8 percent decline in its year-on-year operating profit for the three months ended Nov. 30.

The upward moves followed even as government data revealed Japanese household spending for November declined more than expected. It fell 0.6 percent compared to a year earlier — economists in a Reuters poll were expecting a drop of 0.1 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi also rose more than 0.1 percent.

Australia’s ASX 200 shed its earlier gains to trade largely flat.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Friday morning showed that seasonally adjusted retail sales in the country was up 0.4 percent in November from a month earlier, beating a Reuters poll that predicted a 0.3 percent gain.

Shares of retailers in the country gained; Wesfarmers rose 0.11 percent, Woolworths advanced 0.23 percent and JB Hi-Fi added 3.33 percent.

“Retail Sales data around this time of year are particularly interesting as consumer spending patterns have been shifting,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, said in a morning note.

He cited the rise of sales days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday as resulting in households pushing their Christmas and Boxing Day expenditure forward into November.

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