Hong Kong (BBN)-Shares in China led regional gains on Friday as investors’ hopes for further stimulus from the government were reignited after disappointing official trade data.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.81% at 27,509.72, while the Shanghai Composite was up 1.36% to 4,168.27, reports BBC.
Monthly trade data from the mainland showed exports fell in April from a year ago by 6.2% in yuan terms.
Forecasts were for a rise of about 1.5%.
Imports also fell for the month by 16.1% in yuan terms compared to forecasts for a fall of about 12%.
Economist Tony Nash of Delta Economics said there was clearly pressure on China’s trade environment.
Analysts said the Friday trade numbers could mean further easing by China’s central bank this year, including further rate cuts this month, among other measures.
In February the People’s Bank of China unexpectedly cut interest rates for the second time since last November.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 0.33% at 19,354.78.
Investors will watch shares of Japanese video game maker Nintendo after it posted its first annual operating profit in four years.
The company’s Japan-listed shares were up more than 7% in afternoon trade.
Nintendo’s result beat the firm’s own forecast. The firm also said it is optimistic about its outlook, expecting its annual operating profit to double in the next year.
The Bank of Japan released minutes of its April meeting on Friday which showed some of the central bank’s board members are concerned over growth in private consumption, which accounts for about 60% of Japan’s economic activity.
Meanwhile, Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.45% at 5,671.30 points.
One of the country’s big investment banks, Macquarie Group, saw its shares rise more than 5% after it posted full-year results that beat forecasts.
Macquarie announced a 27% year-on-year rise in net profits to 1.6bn Australian dollars ($1.26bn; £819m) for the year ending in March, beating estimates for a profit of some A$1.5bn.
In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index was up flat, up just 0.01% at 2,091.27 points.