Asian equity markets traded higher on the final trading day of the week, tracking a global rally after the European Central Bank (ECB) unleashed a 1 trillion euro (USD 1.11 trillion) stimulus package to resuscitate the deflation-hit euro zone.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index gained 0.5 percent in early trade, lessening gains slightly after HSBC’s January flash reading of China’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed manufacturing activity remaining in contraction.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index held steady at a more than 1 percent rise.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 held on to a near three-week high early Friday, despite the yen strengthening slightly to touch 118.4.
South Korean shares rose to a near a four-week high, despite data showing the nation’s economy expanding slightly less than expected in the three months to December. The economy expanded 2.7 percent on year in the fourth quarter, just below expectations for a 2.8 percent increase in a Reuters poll.
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