HONG KONG, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 12th Augst,2016) - A strong lead from Wall Street and a rebound in oil prices gave Asian stock markets a lift Friday, even as fresh economic data from China missed expectations. Investors shrugged off figures from the world's second largest economy showing retail sales growth slowed, instead tracking US markets where all three major indices vaulted to new records. Oil prices also extended overnight gains in Asian trade after Saudi Arabia's oil minister hinted that crude producers may take action to rebalance the market.
"Asia Pacific markets are set to finish the week on a high following strong leads from European and US investors," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said in an email commentary. "Industrial commodities rose, led by oil, and overnight trading displayed 'risk on' characteristics despite the lack of an obvious trigger." The US highs -- last seen among the leading indices in 1999 -- came amid strong gains in petroleum-linked shares and retailers, while European stocks also pushed higher thanks to accommodative central bank policies lending continued support to equities. Among the performers was China's New York-listed e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, which reported sales of 32.15 billion Yuan ($4.83 billion), 59 percent higher than a year ago and above analyst expectations.