Asia Mostly Higher Friday on Technology Surge

Markets in the Asia-Pacific traded higher on Friday as technology stocks continued to see renewed interest and led gains on Wall Street, with some shaking off concerns of a further banking crisis.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 258.55 points, or 0.9%, to end the day, week, month and first quarter at 28,041.48, as Tokyo’s inflation print continued to show lower levels from its recent peak of 4.3% seen in December.

Japan’s trade ministry said Friday it will impose export controls on equipment used in chip manufacturing.

While it did not mention China as a target of these measures, the move falls in line with the U.S. push in October to restrict China’s ability to produce high-tech chips as concerns rise that Beijing plans to use the material for military purposes.

Shares of Tokyo Electron fell sharply after the announcement and traded 1.8% lower, while Nikon Corp erased some of its earlier gains and traded slightly above the flatline.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 90.98 points, or 0.5%, to 20,400.11.

Consumer cyclicals and basic materials led gains in the Hang Seng index, which rose more than 1.85% in the morning session.

By percentage change, gained the most and traded 6.5% higher as technology sector in the index gained about 1.6%.

Consumer cyclicals rose 1.7% and basic materials rose 1.5% — clothing manufacturer and Nike supplier Shenzhou International Group Holdings rose 5.82%, China Life Insurance rose 5.8%, and Haidilao rose 4.74%.

Technology firms were higher with Alibaba up nearly 4% and Meituan up 2%.


In China, the CSI 300 12.4 points, or 0.3%, to 4,050.93.

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index for March was 51.9, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
That’s slightly above expectations of 51.5 by analysts polled by Reuters, but lower than 52.6 seen in February.

Most components eased from February, while output, new orders and exports remained in expansion territory, government data showed.

Non-manufacturing PMI meanwhile was 58.2, higher than February’s reading of 56.3 alongside notable rises in activity in the construction sector.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times edged higher 1.72 points, or 0.1%, to 3,258.90.

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 18.63 points, or 0.1%, to 15,868.06.

In Korea, the Kospi advanced 23.7 points, or 1%, to 2,476.86.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 stumbled 48.67 points, or 0.4%, to 11,884.50.

In Australia, the ASX 200 added 55.42 points, or 0.8%, to 7,177.75.