Asian Stocks Rally as Investors Bet on U.S. Fed Rate Pause in June

After a night of gains on Wall Street, Asia stocks jumped on Friday as investors turned towards the jobs report amid speculation that the Federal Reserve could suspend its interest-rate hikes in June.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong led regional gains with a brief 3% gain in the opening hour of trading. Stocks in the technology sector, including Baidu,, and Alibaba, drove the rally, each by roughly 4%.

The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia increased by 0.25%.

Consumer inflation in South Korea dropped to a 19-month low in May, marking the fourth consecutive month of declines, which boosted the Kospi by 0.87%. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index gained 0.77%.

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.31%.

Overnight in the US, the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones Industrial Average all finished at their best levels since August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.47%.

Late on Wednesday, the House passed a bill to increase the debt limit and impose a restriction on government spending, sending it to the Senate in the last days before the U.S. default deadline on Monday. Senator Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s majority leader, predicted the bill’s would approval on Thursday night.

Friday’s May employment data is another event that investors are anticipating. Despite the Federal Reserve’s determined strategy to raise interest rates, recent data suggest the labor market remains robust.