Asian stocks on the rise

On Thursday, most of Asia-Pacific’s stock markets were trading higher, despite Japan reporting a record trade deficit of 3.5 trillion yen ($26 billion) and weaker-than-expected unemployment figures for Australia. Investors were primarily focused on the release of stronger-than-anticipated U.S. retail sales data from Wall Street.

The Kospi in South Korea ended 1.96% higher at 2.475.48, with the Kosdaq rising 2.51% to 784.71. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.71% to close at 27,696.4, and the Topix increased by 0.68% to end the day at 2,001.09. The Australian S&P/ASX 200 also closed up 0.79% at 7,410.3.

Meanwhile, the Shenzhen Component of Mainland China lost 1.3% to end the session at 11,907.4, and the Shanghai Composite fell by 0.96% to close at 3,249.03. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong erased some of its earlier gains and last traded 0.9% higher, with the Hang Seng Tech index rising 1.95%.

The Philippine peso gained nearly 0.5% against the U.S. dollar after the country’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 6%. In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average led gains, gaining more than 250 points from its intraday low to close at 34,128.05, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.28% and 0.92%, respectively.

Despite Japan’s record trade deficit and weak Australian data, investors remain optimistic about the economic recovery in the U.S. and other major economies.

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