Global Markets Rise Modestly

Asia-Pacific equities were modestly higher Friday, following regional declines a day earlier.

Australian stocks outperformed, with commodity-related equities leading the way. The S&P/ASX 200 was recently up 0.5% at 5962--hitting a 2017 high for the second day in a row--and moving closer to 2015's peak of 5996.9. Topping that would put the index at its best level in 10 years.

BHP Billiton rose 1.2%, putting the week's gain at 4%, while Rio Tinto added 0.5% to hit a six-year high. Higher metals prices were helping Korean steel producers, with Posco climbing 0.8%. That helped Korea's Kospi rise 0.1% even with Samsung pulling back 1.8% after its latest record highs.

Metal prices rebounded this week, with steel and iron ore among the leaders. Nickel has been a standout by jumping 23% over the past month due to expectations that supply will tighten on demand from electric-vehicle producers.

While Taiwan's benchmark opened up 0.4%, indexes in New Zealand and Singapore were down slightly. Japanese markets were closed Friday for a holiday.

Overnight, U.S. stocks moved little and the dollar reversed declines made during Asian trading Thursday. U.S. President Donald Trump's naming of Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve didn't lead to a market reaction.

Oil prices continued to rise in Asian trading Friday, with the U.S. benchmark joining global standard Brent in reaching levels last seen in mid-2015. Futures were up as much as 0.5%.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia said it has seen indications that the production-cap deal led by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will be extended through 2018.

Write to Lucy Craymer at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 02, 2017 21:53 ET (01:53 GMT)