Most Asian indexes slightly higher as euro gains; Fast Retailing jumps 6%

Most Asian indexes slightly higher as euro gains; Fast Retailing jumps 6%

Greater China markets were mostly higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.72 percent at 3:23 p.m. HK/SIN after rising for the 13th straight day on Thursday — a record winning streak for the benchmark.

Mainland markets, meanwhile, were narrowly mixed: The Shanghai composite edged up 0.12 percent to close at 3,429.32 and the Shenzhen composite shed 0.22 percent to close at 1,948.93.

That followed the release of China trade data on Friday, which showed that December imports in dollar terms rose 4.5 percent compared to the previous year, missing the 13 percent forecast in a Reuters poll. Dollar-denominated December exports, meanwhile, rose 10.9 percent, beating Reuters’ 9.1 percent projection.

For the entirety of 2017, dollar-denominated exports rose 7.9 percent and imports rose 15.9 percent.

The Australian dollar, which tends to be sensitive to China data, was softer after the miss in China December import numbers. The Aussie dollar last traded at $0.7888, compared to the $0.789 handle seen earlier.

For their part, Asian markets have had a solid start to the new year, with major indexes, such as the Nikkei 225, climbing more than 2.5 percent in the month. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index traded within sight of its all-time high.

Major U.S. indexes rose in the previous session after recording slight losses on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.81 percent, or 205.60 points, to finish the session with a record close of 25,574.73.

Other major indexes saw similar gains, with the S&P 500 closing 0.7 percent higher and the Nasdaq composite climbing 0.81 percent by the end of the session.

Ahead, major U.S. banks are due to report quarterly results during the U.S. session as earnings season kicks off.

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