SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific edged higher in Friday morning trade, continuing a rollercoaster week as investors assess the inflation and the global economic outlook.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan traded 2.34% higher, with shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group jumping more than 9% despite reporting Thursday a record loss at its Vision Fund investment unit. The Topix index climbed 1.61%.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index jumped 1.49%. Mainland Chinese stocks also rose, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.43% while the Shenzhen Component gained 0.553%.
South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.59% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 1.44%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.1% higher.
Concerns over inflation and the economic outlook have weighed on global investor sentiment in recent days, with riskier assets such as tech stocks and cryptocurrencies taking a hit.
JPMorgan Private Bank’s Alex Wolf told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday that the firm is “fairly cautious” on Asia stocks at the moment.
“There’s really nowhere to hide,” said Wolf, head of investment strategy for Asia at the firm. He cited concerns such as broad growth risks creating “near-term uncertainties” for Asia, particularly the region’s emerging markets.
US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that getting inflation under control won’t be easy and warned he could not promise a so-called soft landing for the economy.
Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 0.13% to 3,930.08 — more than 18% lower than its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 103.81 points, or 0.33%, to 31,730.30. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced fractionally to 11,370.96.
Currencies and oil
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.765 after a recent climb from below 104.3.
The Japanese yen traded at 129.21 per dollar, stronger as compared with levels above 130 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6883 as it continues to struggle for a bounce after slipping from above $0.70 earlier in the week.
Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.52% to $109.08 per barrel. US crude futures climbed 1.36% to $107.57 per barrel.