Asia Pacific stocks edge higher; Alibaba's quarterly revenue jumps on-year

  • Asia Pacific stocks edged higher in Friday morning trade following the release of mixed U.S. economic data overnight.
  • The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that initial weekly jobless claims stateside came in above 1 million. That was higher than a Dow Jones estimate of 923,000.
  • Chinese tech giant Alibaba on Thursday announced a 34% on-year increase in revenue in the quarter ended June 30.

Asia Pacific stocks edged higher in Friday morning trade following the release of mixed U.S. economic data overnight.

In Japan, both the Nikkei 225 and Topix indexes rose 0.93% each in early trade. South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.28%.

Meanwhile, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.34%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.35% higher.

The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that initial weekly jobless claims stateside came in above 1 million. That was higher than a Dow Jones estimate of 923,000. Still, continuing claims — those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks — continued to decline.

Meanwhile, shares of Alibaba listed in Hong Kong will be watched by investors after the Chinese tech behemoth announced a 34% on-year increase in revenue in the quarter ended June 30.

In a media release announcing the quarterly results, Alibaba Group Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu said the firm's "domestic core commerce business has fully recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels across the board."

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 46.85 points, or 0.1%, to close at 27,739.73. The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to finish its trading day stateside at 3,385.51 while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1% to a new record close of 11,264.95.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.686 after seeing levels below 92.4 earlier in the trading week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.69 per dollar after touching levels above 106 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7212, in a turbulent trading week that has seen it from levels above $0.724 to below $0.716.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.22% at $45 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.19% to $42.90 per barrel.

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