Asian Shares Rise After Wall Street Rally

(RTTNews) - Asian stocks rose broadly in thin trade on Friday, with Japanese markets closed for a public holiday.

While a rally on Wall Street to record closing highs boosted sentiment, potential gains were capped by heightened geopolitical tensions, hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official and signs that China's real-estate downturn is getting worse.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's war cabinet has agreed to send a negotiating team to Gaza for truce talks taking place in Paris amid growing tensions in the Middle East.

The dollar held steady after Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said Thursday he will need "at least another couple more months" of data before decided to cut interest rates.

Gold was set for a weekly gain while oil prices dipped slightly and were set to close the week a tad lower on demand concerns.

China's Shanghai Composite index rose 0.55 percent to 3,004.88 after data showed home prices declined at a slower pace for both new and existing units in January.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended 0.1 percent lower at 16,725.86 after a choppy session.

Seoul stocks edged up slightly, with the Kospi average rising 0.13 percent to 2,667.70 following an overnight rally on Wall Street, driven by growth and technology stocks.

Australian markets ended modestly higher as financials gained ground ahead of key inflation data due next week. Tech stocks also surged, with Block climbing 16.5 percent to reach its highest level since last August.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.43 percent to 7,643.60 while the broader All Ordinaries index settled 0.43 percent higher at 7,899.20.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index inched up 0.25 percent to 11,719.82 despite retail sales chalking in an eighth consecutive month of declining retail volumes.

U.S. stocks notched record highs overnight after artificial intelligence darling Nvidia reported better than expected fourth quarter results and provided upbeat revenue guidance.

In economic releases, weekly jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week while sales of previously owned homes rose in January, separate reports showed.

The Dow and the S&P 500 gained 1.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively to reach new record closing highs while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 3 percent to end the day just shy of its November 2021 levels.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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