Asia Mixed; Japan Zooms

Japan stocks surged on return to trade, while shares in the Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday following strong gains in the previous session as investors digested the U.S. inflation report.

The Nikkei 225 shot higher 727.65 points, or 2.6%, to 28,546.98.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday said he will ask his government to come up with ways to address rising fuel and food prices in the country, Reuters reported. Inflation in Japan is not as hot as in other countries, but is hovering above the central bank’s 2% target.

In corporate news, Credit Suisse has reportedly applied to begin formal legal proceedings in the English High Court against Japanese tech company SoftBank Group over a $440-million dispute.

But SoftBank shares rose 5.55% on Friday on news that it would add 4.6 trillion yen ($34.5 billion U.S.) to its pre-tax gains by reducing its stake in Chinese tech giant Alibaba. The company said the move would “further strengthen our defense against the severe market environment,” according to a press release.

The Japanese yen traded at 133.35 per U.S. dollar, after strengthening earlier this week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 93.19 points, or 0.5%, to 20,125.62.

SMIC’s Hong Kong-listed shares were 4.2% lower in the final hour of trade.

In Korea, shares of Samsung Electronics rose 0.5% as South Korea’s president, Yoon Suk-yeol, officially pardoned the company’s vice chairman, Jay Y. Lee.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7123, above the $0.71 level.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 docked 2.39 points, or 0.1%, to 4,191.15.

China’s largest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation reported a net profit of $514 million in the second quarter of 2022, a 25% drop from the same period a year ago. Revenue grew 42% to $1.9 billion.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex increased 91.12 points, or 0.6%, to 15,288.97.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 32.69 points, or 1%, to 3,269.27.

In Korea, the Kospi gathered 4.16 points, or 0.2%, to 2,527.94

In Australia, the ASX 200 shed 38.45 points, or 0.5%, to 7,032.51.

In New Zealand, the NZX sank 29.49 points, or 0.3%, to 11,730.52