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Markets were mixed on Friday after forecast-topping earnings from Microsoft and Alphabet helped soothe worries that a tech-fuelled rally may have been overdone, while the yen hit a fresh 34-year low after the Bank of Japan stood pat on interest rates.

However, the mood was clouded by fresh worries about the economic outlook after worse-than-expected US data combined with a forecast-topping print on core inflation that fanned speculation the country could top into stagflation.

Investors were awaiting the release later in the day of the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge of inflation, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, hoping for an idea about its plans for interest rates ahead of next week's policy meeting.

Asian investors have enjoyed a largely upbeat week as a healthy earnings season has been seen to justify some of the big gains across equities in recent months, which have offset fading hopes for Fed rate cuts.

The rally has been helped by blockbuster reports from heavyweights Microsoft and Alphabet, which topped estimates, while the latter also announced its first dividend. Social media company Snap also provided a bullish revenue projection.

All three soared in after-hours trade, helping push up US futures.

The results helped temper concerns sparked by news that Facebook-parent Meta expected to spend more this year than had been anticipated owing to investment in artificial intelligence.

Tech firms across Asia rode the coattails of the earnings, with Hong Kong-listed Meituan, Japan's Advantest and Samsung in Seoul all well up.

And the region's markets benefited.

Hong Kong piled on more than two percent, while there were also gains in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Manila.

However, Sydney, Singapore, Wellington, Mumbai, Jakarta and Bangkok fell.

London rose to another record high, while Paris and Frankfurt also advanced.

Wall Street's three main indexes had earlier ended deep in the red -- though off initial lows -- following news that the US economy grew far less than expected in the first quarter while consumer spending was short of estimates.

At the same time, an index of core prices came in much hotter than forecast -- sparking fears the United States could be heading for a period of stagnant growth and spiking inflation.

"This report was the worst of both worlds: economic growth is slowing and inflationary pressures are persisting," Chris Zaccarelli, of Independent Advisor Alliance, said.

"The Fed wants to see inflation start coming down in a persistent manner, but the market wants to see economic growth and corporate profits increasing."

All eyes are on the PCE reading, which comes after three straight months of above-forecast consumer price index figures that -- along with warnings from monetary policymakers -- dented expectations for how many cuts the bank will make this year.

Investors were keeping a close eye on Tokyo after the yen sank further after the Bank of Japan held interest rates after raising them for the first time in 17 years last month.

The unit hit 156.82 to the dollar Friday afternoon, fuelling fresh speculation of an intervention after several officials lined up in recent weeks to warn they were ready to step in to support the unit.

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.8 percent at 37,934.76 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 2.1 percent at 17,651.15 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP UP 1.2 percent at 3,088.64 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 8,125.66

Dollar/yen: UP at 156.72 yen from 155.64 yen on Thursday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0734 from $1.0733

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2511 from $1.2514

Euro/pound: UP at 85.78 pence from 85.74 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.6 percent at $84.03 per barrel

Brent North Sea Crude: UP 0.5 percent at $89.45 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.0 percent at 38,085.80 (close)