Japan’s markets set to rise; investors to watch tech stocks as Alibaba earnings miss expectations

SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan were set to trade higher on Friday, as Wall Street mostly lifted overnight supported by strong earnings. Alibaba, however, disappointed investors as it missed earnings expectations.

Japan’s Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,650 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,610. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,598.66.

Australia’s ASX 200 edged up 0.13% in early trade.

Investors will be watching Chinese markets on Friday after a broad sell-off in tech stocks the day before. The Nasdaq-style technology board, Hang Seng tech index, sold off nearly 3%. Major tech names declined sharply, with Alibaba dropping over 5%, and JD and Baidu also falling.

On Thursday, Alibaba missed revenue and earnings expectations for the September quarter, as slowing economic growth in China weighed on results. It reported revenue of 200.69 billion yuan ($31.4 billion), less than the 204.93 billion yuan estimated but still a 29% year-on-year rise. The company reported earnings per share of 11.20 yuan, less than an estimate of 12.36 yuan and a 38% year-on-year decline.

Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares fell 11.1% on Thursday.

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U.S. markets were mixed overnight, although strong earnings lifted some indices. The S&P 500 was 0.3% higher to 4,704.54 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5% to 15,993.71. The Dow fell 60 points, or 0.1%, dragged lower by big losses in Cisco shares.

The S&P 500 fell as much as 0.3% at one point before recovering, after strong earnings results from Nvidia, the world’s largest chipmaker by market value, and various retailers. Other chipmakers also rose as Nvidia’s strong results lifted optimism for the sector.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.523 — falling sharply from levels above 95.8 earlier.

The Japanese yen weakened slightly, trading at 114.24 per dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.7280, lifting marginally from levels above $0.727 earlier.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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