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Hong Kong Leads Asian Gains

Hong Kong led gains in Asia on Friday as Wall Street rose overnight, ahead of key U.S. employment data.

Shares of Apple suppliers were in focus after the company reported higher-than-expected earnings. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company shares rose 1%, while Hon Hai Technology Group, also known as Foxconn, jumped 1.3%.

Apple, whose second-quarter earnings beat market estimates, announced a record stock buyback program of $110 billion. Shares of the iPhone maker jumped 6% in extended trading, with investors now focusing on shares of Apple suppliers in Taiwan and South Korea.

Stock markets in Japan and mainland China were shut for public holidays.

The Japanese yen was still in focus as it strengthened to 153.13 against the U.S. dollar amid suspected government interventions on Monday and Wednesday. The currency is set for its best week in over a year.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 268.79 points or 1.5%, 18,475.92,

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gave up 3.96 points, or 0.1%, to 3,292.93.

In Korea, the Kospi index faded 7.02 points, or 0.3%, to 2,676.63.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index recovered 107.88 points, or 0.5%, to 20,330.87.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index gained 64.05 points, or 0.5%, to 11,938.08.

In Australia, the ASX 200 advanced 42 points, or 0.6%, to 7,628.97.