Investing.com – Asian markets were mixed on Friday pointing mostly higher though Shanghai and Tokyo eased as commodity-dependent shares fell on a stronger dollar, which makes imports priced in greenbacks more expensive.
225 eased 0.19. Toshiba announced KKR, SK Hynix, Broadcom (NASDAQ:) and Hon Hai Precision had submitted bids for its memory chip unit. The company suggested it had received offers that were higher than ¥2 trillion ($ 17.9 billion), the Nikkei reported. Toshiba shares were down 0.54%.
South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.77% and trading at an all-time high and in its sixth consecutive session of gains. In Australia, the dipped 0.70%, The was flat and the dipped 0.2%.
Overnight, U.S. stocks hit records highs, as investors cheered the release of better than expected initial jobless claims data while the Fed minutes continued to lift sentiment amid a dent in expectations that the Federal Reserve would hike rates for a total of three times in 2017.
U.S. stocks added to gains achieved in the previous session, after the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes to its May meeting on Wednesday, confirmed Fed members believed a rate hike was needed “soon” but expressed doubts over the path of future interest rate hikes.
Although Fed officials remained committed to the rate hike path of three rate hikes total for 2017, they cautioned that longer-term rate increases would be subject to economic data, showing the dip in first quarter economic growth had been “transitory”.
U.S. economic growth, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), rose by an annualized rate of just 0.7% during the first quarter of 2017. It was the slowest period of first-quarter economic growth since 2014.
Despite a record close for both the Nasdaq and the , energy was one of the main laggards, after crude prices tumbled nearly 5%, following the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies’ decision to extend production cuts for nine more months.
The U.S. economy continued to show signs of a rebound in the second quarter, after initial jobless claims rose less than expected. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims rose by 1,000 to 234,000 in the week ended May 18.
Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 238,000 in the week ended May 18.
The trade deficit, however, unexpectedly widened to $ 67.6 billion in April from $ 65.1 billion in March, the Census Bureau said in its advanced report.
The closed at 21,082.95, up 0.34%. The S&P 500 closed 0.44% higher while the closed at 6205.26 up 0.69%.
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