Chinese stocks rise on return to trade; oil prices jump

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SINGAPORE — Chinese stocks rose on the first day of trade after a week-long holiday, tracking other stock markets across Asia-Pacific as markets on Wall Street rallied. Data on Friday also showed that the services activity in China returned to positive levels.

Mainland Chinese stocks pared earlier gains but were still higher in the afternoon. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.33%, while the Shenzhen Component was higher by 0.55%. The CSI 300 rose around 1%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.26%.

“With the market reopening today, investors are likely to focus on issues in the Chinese property market. With property developers struggling [with] high debt levels, the spectre of strong demand for steel and iron ore remains low,” analysts at ANZ Research wrote in a note, referring to Evergrande’s debt woes and signs of stress in the broader property sector.

China’s CSI 300 real estate index was down more than 1% by the afternoon.

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Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 1.72%, and the Topix jumped 1.35%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.72%.

In South Korea, the Kospi was down 0.16%. In its earnings estimates on Friday, Samsung said its operating profit for the quarter that ended in September was likely up 28% from a year ago to 15.8 trillion Korean won ($13.26 billion).

That is set to be Samsung’s best quarterly profit in three years — since the third quarter of 2018 when Samsung posted a profit of more than 17.5 trillion won. Its stock was up 0.28% following the release of the earnings estimates.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

China’s service sector

Activity in China’s services sector grew in September, data from a private survey showed on Friday.

The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.4 from 46.7 in August, recovering from the lowest level seen since the height of the pandemic last year, according to Reuters. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction.

Oil prices rise

Oil prices jumped more than 1% on doubts surrounding supply. International benchmark Brent crude futures was up 1.2% to $82.93 per barrel. U.S. crude futures jumped 1.33% to $79.34 per barrel.

“Energy prices remained volatile with oil prices rising on Thursday, following the US Energy Department’s statement on not having plans to tap into the nation’s oil reserve for now,” Mizuho Bank said in a Friday note.

In currencies, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.247, strengthening from levels above 94.1 seen earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.86 per dollar, weakening from earlier levels around 111.4.

The Australian dollar changed hands at 0.7309, strengthening sharply following earlier levels of around 0.726.

Wall Street rallies

Stocks rallied as lawmakers reached a deal to increase the debt ceiling in the short term. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 337.95 points, or roughly 1%, to 34,754.94.

The S&P 500 rallied 0.8% to 4,399.76 and the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite jumped nearly 1.1% to 14,654.02. Thursday’s gains put the major averages in the green for the week.

Stocks hit their highs of the session as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on the Senate floor news of the debt ceiling compromise, which will avoid an unprecedented default for now.

Markets will look ahead to Friday’s key September jobs report as the Federal Reserve prepares to slow its $120 billion-per-month bond-buying program.

CNBC’s Saheli Roy Choudhury, Maggie Fitzgerald and Pippa Stevens contributed to this report.