Investing.com - Most Asian bourses are trading higher at this hour, following their U.S. counterparts higher while getting a lift from solid Chinese export data and a weaker yen.
In Asian trading Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged after a report showed that Japan’s GDP rose 0.2% in the fourth quarter following an initial reading that showed a contraction of 0.4%. Japanese shares also benefited from a weaker yen with USD/JPY rising 0.56% to the highest levels in nearly four years. The Nikkei is in position for its best weekly performance of 2013.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.15%, but the Shanghai Composite fell 0.18% after a report showed hina’s January and February combined exports jumped 23.6%, easily topping analysts’ expectations for a 17.6% increase.
The Shanghai Composite may be trading lower due to the import data, which rose just 5% last month, well below the 10% increase economists expected. Industrial output data for January and February is expected to show a 10.5% increase when that number is published.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3% while New Zealand’s NZSE 50 added 0.47%, gains that indicate stocks in those countries are benefiting from AUD/USD and NZD/USD trading lower. Traders are bidding Australian and New Zealand stocks higher despite the Chinese import data. China is the largest trading partner for both Australia and New Zealand.
South Korea’s Kospi is off 0.09%, arguably do in large part to the weaker yen. South Korean electronics and automobile makers are major competitors to Japanese equivalents and a weaker yen is seen as damaging to South Korean shares.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index is lower by 0.19%. S&P 500 futures are lower by 0.07% head of the February non-farm payroll report due out from the U.S. Labor Department later today. Economists expect the U.S. economy, the world’s largest, to show the addition of 160,000 jobs last month.