TOKYO -- Asian stock markets edged higher on Friday afternoon, after mixed morning sessions following another plunge in U.S. shares the day before. Some investors took sharp declines as their cue to pounce on buying opportunities.
Tokyo opened lower, as rising global interest rates and the U.S.-China trade war continue to darken the world's economic outlook. But the Nikkei Stock Average climbed higher toward the end of trading, at one point jumping more than 100 points, or 0.5%, from Thursday's close to 22,711. The dollar steadied and the yen gave back some of its recent gains as well.
"Many retail investors saw the drop as a chance to buy and supported the index from declining further," said Yoshinori Ogawa, senior strategist at Okasan Securities.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 2% from Thursday at one point. The index had marked a new low for the year the previous day, prompting a correction. Tencent Holdings jumped nearly 7% from Thursday, while other Chinese stocks in the real estate and consumer sectors also climbed.
South Korea's benchmark Kospi index started strong and was briefly up 2%. This was the first rise in nine sessions, with experts saying investors were heartened by easing U.S. inflation pressure. The won was up against the dollar, while bond yields also rose.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index started weakly, down 0.4% at 2,574.0415 -- remaining flat around a four-year low. The index edged higher in the afternoon, though, with investors buying up sectors hit by recent heavy selling. China's report of unexpectedly robust export data also sent shares higher.
Thursday had brought more pain in the U.S. markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping as much as 698 points, touching a low not seen since mid-July. Stocks rebounded later in volatile afternoon trading to close down 545, or 2.1%, at 25,053.