Asia Stages Recovery to End Week

Shares in the Asia Pacific markets rose on Friday, with Hong Kong stocks leading gains as a volatile trading week comes to a close.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rebuilt 336.19 points, or 1.3%, to 26,739.03.

Japan’s core consumer prices, which include energy costs but not fresh food, rose 2.1% in April compared to a year earlier, in line with economists’ estimates.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 127.97 per U.S. dollar.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index restocked 596.56 points, or 3%, to 20,717.24. Chinese stocks listed in Hong Kong closed higher, with Xpeng up 6% and Baidu rising 5.2%.

Shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio surged in its Singapore debut on Friday, the third exchange its shares are listed on. The stock popped at the open, rising by nearly 20% before paring most gains to close around 2.4% higher.

Shares of Grab soared in the U.S. overnight after the Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery company reported 6% growth in revenue and predicted that business would improve as more countries ease COVID restrictions.

The stock closed 24.11% higher at $3.14, off the day’s high of $3.68. Shares continued to rise nearly 2% in after-hours trade.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co shares also popped on Thursday in the U.S. following a report that it plans to open a plant in Singapore.

The stock rose as high as $92.10, but closed 0.35% lower at $90.21. In after-hours trade, TSMC climbed 0.2%.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7045.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 picked up 78 points, or 2%, to 4,077.60.

In other developments, China kept its one-year benchmark lending rate on hold at 3.7%, but cut its five-year loan prime rate (LPR) by 15 basis points. It was the second cut this year.

Bank loans have declined sharply, signaling a lack of confidence among businesses and households, Zhu said in an email. Friday’s LPR cut, together with the reserve requirement ratio cut in April, may help to boost demand in the property and land market, Zhu added.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex recovered 124.53 points, or 0.8%, to 16,144.85

In Korea, the Kospi index advanced 46.95 points, or 1.8%, to 2,639.29.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index re-strengthened 49.87 points, or 1.6%, to 3,240.58

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 tacked on 60.46 points, or 0.5%, to 11,267.39.

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved higher 81.18 points, or 1.2%, to 7,145.65.