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US shares climb as inflation worries wane on wage data

The three major US indexes rose 1 percent on Friday, with the Nasdaq touching a record, after strong job additions in February but sluggish wage growth that pointed to a gradual rise in inflation and helped temper expectations of faster rate increases.

Helping sentiment on a day the bull market for stocks turned nine were signs of a potential breakthrough in nuclear tensions in the Korean peninsula and President Donald Trump’s softened stance on tariffs.

Strong jobs data last month fueled speculation that higher wages could lead to faster interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, rattling global equities market.

At 12:42 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 327.75 points, or 1.32 percent, the S&P 500 gained 34.78 points, or 1.27 percent. The Nasdaq Composite was up 98.82 points, or 1.33 percent, at 7,526.76. The index touched record high of 7,531.47. While the Dow is up 8 percent from the February lows, it remains about 5 percent off record highs seen in January. The S&P is about 3 percent off its January record highs but up more than 9 percent from last month’s lows.

US stocks finished a volatile session higher Thursday after President Donald Trump enacted controversial tariffs on imported steel and aluminum amid worries the move could ignite a global trade war. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4 percent to 24,895.21. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 2,738.97, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.4 percent to 7,427.95.

Tokyo stocks end higher on Trump-Kim summit news

Tokyo stocks jumped Friday on news that US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a historic summit that may ease tensions over the Korean peninsula.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index temporarily soared to a 2.4 percent gain after the Trump-Kim news before it fell back to finish up 0.47 percent, or 101.13 points, at 21,469.20. However, it fell 1.36 percent over the week. The broader Topix index firmed 0.32 percent, or 5.53 points, to 1,715.48, for a weekly loss of 0.42 percent. The Tokyo market also benefited from the appreciation of the dollar, which fetched 106.64 yen in Asian trade, up from 106.12 yen in New York late Thursday. Among major shares in Tokyo, Panasonic added 1.46 percent to 1,635 yen, while Sony edged up 0.30 percent to 5,393 yen.

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China market springs back

The China stock market bounced higher again on Thursday, one session after it had ended the two-day winning streak in which it had collected more than 35 points or 1.1 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index now rests just beneath the 3,290-point plateau although it’s looking at a soft start on Friday. The SCI finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the properties, oil and insurance stocks were tempered by weakness from the financial sector.

For the day, the index picked up 16.74 points or 0.51 percent to finish at 3,288.41 after trading between 3,261.55 and 3,289.50. The Shenzhen Composite Index jumped 18.60 points or 1.01 percent to end at 1,856.47. Among the actives, Bank of China shed 0.47 percent, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China dropped 1.21 percent, Agricultural Bank of China lost 0.74 percent, China Construction Bank slid 0.97 percent, China Life and Bank of Communications both collected 0.15 percent, Ping An Insurance soared 2.56 percent, China Vanke spiked 2.25 percent, Gemdale and China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) both added 0.16 percent and PetroChina gained 0.12 percent.

Hong Kong shares rally

Hong Kong shares rallied more than one percent in the opening minutes Thursday as bargain-buyers moved in following the previous day’s losses.

The Hang Seng Index climbed 1.08 percent, or 326.76 points, to 30,523.68. But the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.10 percent, or 3.32 points, to 3,268.35 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, edged down 0.07 percent, or 1.34 points, to 1,836.53.

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India Sensex trades over 100 points

Key Indian equity indices extended their gains for the second consecutive session on Friday, with the BSE Sensex gaining over 100 points. Around 1 pm, the wider Nifty50 Of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 38.80 points or 0.38 per cent to trade at 10,281.45 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,465.05 points, traded at 33,456.09 points — up 104.52 points or 0.31 per cent from the previous session’s close. The Sensex has so far touched a high of 33,519.49 points and a low of 33,316.58 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,235 advances and 1,229 declines. The Sensex closed at 33,351.57 points, up 318.48 points or 0.96 per cent, while the Nifty50 rose by 88.45 points or 0.87 per cent to close at 10,242.65 points.

Taiwan market moving higher

The Taiwan stock market has climbed higher in two of three trading days since the end of the four-day losing streak in which it had retreated almost 200 points or 1.8 percent.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange now rests just above the 10,820-point plateau although it may hand back those gains on Friday. For the day, the index collected 77.92 points or 0.73 percent to finish at 10,823.24 after trading between 10,788.43 and 10,852.23 on turnover of 120.48 billion Taiwan dollars. The Dow added 93.85 points or 0.38 percent to 24,895.21, while the NASDAQ gained 31.30 points or 0.42 percent and the S&P 500 was up 12.17 points or 0.45 percent to 2,738.97. The higher close came after Trump officially signed proclamations imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

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