Asian shares rose slightly on the last day of the week’s trading, propelled by stocks in Hong Kong which seemed to be heading for their first week of gains in nearly two months. Uncertainty on whether the Federal Reserve will introduce an interest rate hike next week capped the increases while the dollar stayed firm after confronting pressure from a rise in the yuan.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.8 percent, and on track to rise more than 3 percent for the week.

Chinese shares got off to a shaky start, with the CSI300 index and Shanghai Composite Index up slightly by late morning after fluctuating in and out of negative territory. The Hang Seng Index was on track to rise 4% this week, after seven straight weeks of losses.

Chinese Economic Reports

Investors are looking to several reports out of China before deciding on next week’s moves. Chinese industrial output, retail sales and investment data are all out on Sunday and will indicate the state of the world’s second-largest economy.

European stocks ended a three-day run up with a drop of nearly 1.5 percent while major indexes on Wall Street showed solid gains as U.S. data suggested on Thursday that fewer Americans filed for weekly unemployment benefits. A separate report, however, showed weak inflation, pointing to more uncertainty regarding a Fed decision at its Sept. 16-17 policy meeting.

According to Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York, “Based on the performance of the U.S. economy alone, the Fed should raise rates but they do not operate in a vacuum.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email