Stocks in Australia led gains in Friday trade as Asia-Pacific markets rose.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 1.57% as shares of the country’s “Big Four” banks soared. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group surged 5.63%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia jumped 3.93%, Westpac soared 7.15% and National Australia Bank rose 6.86%.
The moves came after authorities announced changes to simplify credit access for consumers and small businesses.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.55%. Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher, with the Shanghai composite above the flatline while the Shenzhen component gained 0.285%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.69% while the Topix index added 0.59%. South Korea’s Kospi also advanced 0.58%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.67% higher.