Global Shares Push Higher Friday

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares were mostly higher on Friday after Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.2 percent as the U.S. dollar strengthened against the yen. Chinese markets were lifted by a report of higher corporate profits. Looking ahead, investors are watching for U.S. GDP data.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX climbed 0.7 percent to 13,225.56 and the CAC 40 of France gained 0.6 percent to 5,489.01. The FTSE 100 of Britain rose 0.3 percent to 7,511.51. Dow futures climbed 0.2 percent to 23,386.00 and S&P futures were up 0.2 percent at 2,566.10, pointing to a positive start on Wall Street.

ASIA'S DAY: The Nikkei 225's close at 22,008.45 was a new 21-year high for the index. Gains for U.S. technology companies pushed South Korea's Kospi up 0.6 percent to 2,496.63 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index surged 0.8 percent to 28,438.85. The Shanghai Composite index added 0.3 percent to 3,416.81 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell back to end 0.2 percent lower at 5,903.20. India's Sensex picked up 0.2 percent to 33,227.61. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

EURO OPTIMISM: Regional stock indexes jumped on Thursday after the European Central Bank said it will begin gradually reducing bond purchases it's been making to strengthen the regional economy. Starting in January the bank plans to cut the size of its purchases in half, to 30 billion euros a month. Investors were relieved the bank isn't being more aggressive.

CHINA PROFITS: The government reported that major industrial firms' profits jumped nearly 23 percent over a year earlier in January-September to 5.58 trillion yuan ($841 billion). The increase was partly attributable to price hikes, the official Xinhua news agency cited He Ping of the National Bureau of Statistics as saying.

JAPAN INFLATION: The consumer price index was steady, with core inflation excluding fresh food and energy costs at 0.2 percent in September. "With the tailwind from higher energy prices set to fade, we think that price gains will level off around 0.5 percent in coming months," said Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics. That leaves little room for monetary tightening with the Bank of Japan due hold a policy meeting next week.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "ECB President Mario Draghi buoyed investor confidence combining last night's announcement of reduced bond purchases with a decision to leave the QE program open ended and assurances that the Bank's interest rate would be left near zero for as long as necessary. Together with the Bank of Japan's easy policy, this ensures that world equity markets will benefit from liquidity support for some time to come," Ric Spooner of CMC Markets said in a commentary.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 114.09 yen from 114.00 yen. The euro fell to $1.1635 from $1.1654 as investors expect interest rates in Europe to stay lower for longer than they had believed earlier.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 6 cents to $52.58 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 46 cents to $52.64 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 1 cent to $59.03 a barrel.

(BE)