Asian markets remain upbeat, tech stocks in focus on Apple surge

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Most Asian markets continued to climb on Friday morning helped along by continued forward movement in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, the easing of tensions between the U.S. and Iran a strong performance in tech stocks on Wall Street.

Markets in China were the outliers in the region, starting the last trading day of the week with mild losses. China’s and the were mixed. Shanghai was down 0.11% by 9:00 PM EST (2:00 AM GMT) while Shenzhen opened up 0.22%.

Hong Kong’s rose slightly shortly after the open but gave up the gains and to trade down 0.09%.

Japan’s was up 0.25% while South Korea’s traded up 0.5%.

Australia’s climbed 0.64%.

Tech stocks, particularly Apple (NASDAQ:) suppliers, were in focus on Friday after the company’s shares rose 2.1% to a record high thanks to a jump of 18% in iPhone sales in China. The news helped the company’s suppliers in Japan, South Korea and China.

“What we’ve seen over the past couple of days with some of this relief rally, this is indicative of a market that’s wanted to go higher for a while now as a result of better fundamentals,” Timothy Horsburgh, a strategist at Invesco, said on Bloomberg TV.

On Thursday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that consumer prices rose 4.5% in December from a year earlier while producer prices fell 0.5%.

Australia released strong retail sales data for November. Sales rose 0.9%, more than double the expected 0.4% jump, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The strong performance in November sets the stage for a decline in December, as has happened for the past two years.

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