Asian equities rose on Friday after the S&P 500 index notched a new record closing high, but investor sentiment remained fragile following weak data from China and Germany, which reinforced concerns about the global economy.
Early in the Asian trading day, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.34%. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.58% and Australian shares gained 0.53%.
The safe-haven yen weakened, with the dollar rising 0.11% to buy 108.50 yen. The euro was unchanged at $1.1021 and the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals was flat at 98.163.
Providing a fillip to investor confidence in Asia were comments from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that Washington was getting close to a trade agreement with China.