Hong Kong: Asian shares nudged higher on Friday on the back of upbeat earnings reports from the United States and Asia while the dollar resumed a broad slide after a Fed official indicated US interest rates would remain low.
Japan’s Nikkei index rose 0.6% as exporters like Sony Corp gained, helped by optimism about the global economy and on a weaker yen.
Bullish earnings in the United States from 3M Co, AT&T Inc and McDonald’s Corp helped push the Dow Jones up 1.3% on Thursday and the upbeat mood spread to Asia.
Shares in South Korea rose 0.7%, helped by a 5.8% rally in Kia Motors Corp after the country’s No. 2 car maker said it swung to a record quarterly profit, helped by a weaker won.
Hynix Semiconductor Inc, the world’s No. 2 memory chip maker, announced a quarterly profit after seven quarterly losses. Its stock however has already nearly trebled so far this year and dipped 0.5%.
The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks traded outside Japan was up 1.3% while the Thomson Reuters index of regional shares gained 1.6%.
The dollar hit a 15-month low against the Swiss franc below 1.0035 francs. It headed back toward 14-month lows against a basket of currencies after Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans reinforced the view that US rates will stay low, saying the Federal Reserve’s focus remained on an accommodative rate policy.
“The dollar looks vulnerable to a short, brutal move to the spring 2008 lows,” said David Watt, senior currency strategist at RBC Capital in Australia.
The euro rose above $1.5047 for the first time in 14 months while sterling jumped to a one-month high against the dollar at $1.6679 ahead of UK third-quarter GDP data later in the day which is expected to show a return to growth.
Gold hovered above $1,060 an ounce, benefiting from the dollar’s slide. The oil price edged above $81 a barrel after solid US earnings reports raised the prospect of higher oil demand as the global economy continues to recover.