Most Asian stocks rise with Nikkei on track for five-day winning streak

Most Asian stocks rose moderately Thursday, taking their cue from the U.S. markets where stocks got a boost from a Federal Reserve report that painted a rosy picture of the U.S. economy.

The Beige Book, a collection of anecdotal account of business conditions, showed that 11 of the 12 districts surveyed were expanding at a “modest” or faster pace with only the region around St. Louis reporting “slight” growth.

Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.54% bucked the trend in the region to slide 0.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, +0.02% edged up 0.1%.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.10% rose 0.3%, on track for a fifth straight session of gains, the longest winning spree since April.

The country’s trade surplus soared 67% to 721.4 billion yen ($6.4 billion) in June thanks to strong demand for semiconductor chips and chip-making equipment from China offset a drop in car sales to the U.S., Dow Jones Newswires reported.

“Today’s trade data show a renewed plunge in imports in June and suggest that net trade continued to support gross domestic product growth in the second quarter,” said Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at Capital Economics, in a note.

Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.25% trimmed early gains to trade flat. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.42% climbed 0.3% and Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.06% gained 0.2%.

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