SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks in Asia were mostly higher on Friday as investors and traders took emerging news about the spread of the Covid variant Omicron on the chin.
"The Fed is not ignoring the threat from Omicron, but are choosing not to let it delay policy responses that suggest a more business as usual outlook," Commonwealth Bank of Australia strategist Tobin Gorey told Reuters Friday.
"OPEC+ has done a similar thing," he added. "Neither has iced their planned policy changes...and both are perhaps examples that suggest lockdown responses to epidemic surges are becoming less likely."
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 was in demand, rising 276.20 points or 1.00 percent to close Friday at 28,029.57.
The Australian All Ordinaries advanced 7.50 points or 0.10 percent to 7,543.60.
China's Shanghai Composite finished up 33.60 points or 0.54 percent at 3,607.43.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was the party pooper, losing 22.24 points or 0.09 percent, to close Friday at 23,766.69.
The foreign exchange market was quiet with the U.S. dollar continuing to hold the upper hand. The euro dipped to 1.1297 around the Sydney close Friday. The British pound slipped to 1.3296. The Japanese yen slid to 113.23. The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9206.
The Canadian dollar was unmoved at 1.2806. The Australian dollar hit a new 1-year low, ending in Sydney around 0.7081. The New Zealand dollar softened to 0.6801.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded 617.75 points or 1.82 percent to close Thursday at 34,639.79.
The Standard and Poor's 500 jumped 64.06 points or 1.42 percent to 4,577.10.
The technology-laden Nasdaq Composite added 127.27 points or 0.83 percent to 15,381.32.