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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks climb after US data calms nerves

China Resources Beer and Tsingtao Brewery jump on earnings

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan advanced on Friday, after upbeat U.S. retail sales data helped somewhat ease economic slowdown concerns and boosted Wall Street.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies outside Japan rose 0.5% to 1,220.71.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index ended higher on Thursday, after data showed consumer spending in the world's largest economy held up well last month. The U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.7% month-on-month in July, more than double of what economists polled by Reuters had expected. A more closely followed measure that strips out volatile components climbed 1%.

However, Treasury yields fell extended losses Thursday, suggesting that traders remained concerned about growth outlook. Treasury yields and shape of the yield curve are in focus after yield on the 10-year U.S. bond fell below that of the two-year note for the first time in twelve years on Wednesday. A yield curve where investors demand less returns on longer-dated bonds relative to the shorter-tenure ones is considered an indicator that economic growth is likely to decline in the coming quarters.

The 10-year Treasury yield is presently at a near three-year low and the 30-year yield at record lows. The 10-year yield was about three basis points higher than that of the two-year note at Thursday's close after the difference fell into negative territory earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Beijing on Thursday reportedly vowed to retaliate against Washington's impending 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods, calling the move a violation of the accord between the two countries at a Group of 20 gathering in June. U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month unexpectedly announced plans to impose tariffs on more Chinese goods from Sept. 1. The U.S. Trade Representative office has since said some of those goods will be spared from levies until Dec. 15.

Beijing's threat for retaliation did not appear to have a significant impact on shares of Chinese companies Friday, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index closing 0.6% higher.

Ping An Insurance Group climbed 2.2% in Hong Kong after reporting a 68.1% jump in net profit and a 17.2% increase in revenue during the first half of the current year. Its peer China Life Insurance added 0.9%.

Chinese brewer Tsingtao Brewery jumped 9.8% after reporting a 25% increase in profit and 9% higher revenue for the first half.

China Resources Beer Holdings climbed 7.8% after saying Friday that first half net profit grew 24.1% amid higher overall average selling price and volume.

China Southern Airlines added 1.6% after reporting a 10.4% increase in passengers carried in July. Air China rose 0.5% after passengers carried in July rose 6.9% from a year ago.

Singapore Airlines declined 0.9%. The airline said total number of passengers carried in July rose 6.3% on-year to 3.30 million, while passenger load factor was down marginally by 0.1% at 85.8%.

Meanwhile, South Korea's benchmark equity index declined 0.6%. North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles into the Sea of Japan early Friday, South Korea's military said on Friday, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

--Nimesh Vora

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