Investing.com - Asian shares gained on Friday after mildly positive trade figures from China, though the potential for trade friction with the US raised concerns.
China reported trade data for December with exports up 10.9%, compared to a gain of 9.1% seen, imports posted a 4.5% rise, compared to a 13.0% increase expected and the trade balance came in at $54.69 billion surplus, compared to surplus of $37 billion seen.
Overnight, Wall Street closed at record highs led by energy as crude oil prices rallied while financials remained bullish ahead of earnings from major Wall Street banks due Friday.
A rally in crude oil prices to near-three year highs sparked a buying-frenzy in energy lifting the broader market higher, while better-than-expected earnings from Delta Air Lines fueled a rally in major airliners.
Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:NYSE:DAL)reported earnings and revenue that beat on both the top and bottom lines, lifting the share price to nearly 5% closed. That rally in airlines comes despite the potential headwinds from higher energy prices.
Financials, meanwhile, continued to soak up investor demand ahead of quarterly earnings reports from JPMorgan (NYSE:NYSE:JPM), Blackrock (NYSE:NYSE:BLK) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:NYSE:WFC) slated for Friday.
The bullish sentiment on equities ahead of the unofficial start of quarterly earnings season offset data pointing to weak wholesale inflation and rising jobless claims.
The Labor Department said Thursday its producer price index for final demand fell 0.1% last month after rising 0.2% in November. In the 12 months through August, the PPI rose 2.6, missing expectation for a 3% rise.
RBC said the softer PPI data signaled “downside risk” to the consumer prices index (CPI) data slated for Friday, while Amherst said it expects job claims to return to “normal” after the period of seasonal holiday volatility subsides.
In corporate news, Boeing Co (NYSE:NYSE:BA) continued its closed more 2% higher as investors continued to cheer after reporting earlier this week that aircraft deliveries rose to an all-time high last year, while its backlog at the end of 2018 rose to a record high of 5,864 commercial airplanes. The backlog of orders reportedly totals seven years' worth of production.
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