US inflation data
Traders are keeping a close eye on the release of key inflation data later Friday. AFP

Asian markets rose Friday after strong earnings from two tech titans provided hope for a bounce on Wall Street, while traders were also steeling themselves for key US inflation data.

The gains come at the end of a rollercoaster week for equities, but the Middle East crisis continued to cast a shadow.

And while figures showed the US economy enjoyed its best growth since late 2021 during the third quarter, observers said there was a belief it had peaked and the new year would see a slowdown.

However, questions remain over how long the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates at elevated levels.

All three main indexes sank Thursday, with the Nasdaq again the worst performer owing to tech firms' susceptibility to higher borrowing costs.

But blockbuster earnings from Amazon and Intel after the markets closed -- and a surge in after-hours trade -- provided Asian traders with hope for a bounce in New York at the end of the week.

In early trade, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Seoul, Jakarta and Taipei were all well up.

Eyes now turn to the release later on Friday of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, which is the Fed's preferred measure of inflation. A slight easing of the core reading -- released Thursday -- provided some optimism.

The reading comes ahead of the bank's policy decision next week, and while expectations are for it to pause, traders are hoping for guidance for the next few months.

Officials have lined up in recent months to say that while there might not be any more cuts, rates could be kept at two-decade highs for an extended period.

Still, with Treasury yields sitting around 16-year highs, experts do not foresee a recovery in markets any time soon.

"The stock market isn't ready to rally until bond yields are sharply lower, which probably won't happen until we see inflation a lot closer to the Fed's target," said OANDA's Edward Moya.

And Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management added that with the economy still resilient, the question was whether it could slow enough to bring yields down to four percent from close to five percent.

"While markets are desperately trying to escape from this hurt locker squeezed on all sides by higher for longer interest rates, it's unlikely a significant rates respite is on the cards with the US economy still firing on all cylinders," he warned.

"I guess the question is, can the economy slow down fast enough to move 10-year yields closer to four percent rather than five percent."

Oil prices edged up, recovering some of their losses of more than two percent Thursday, as traders tracked developments in the Israel-Hamas crisis amid concerns it could draw in other countries.

The drop came even after the Israeli military said tanks and infantry had entered Gaza in a "targeted raid" before withdrawing to home soil, and after its aircraft struck targets in Lebanon late Wednesday in retaliation for a missile launch.

The fears of a region-wide conflict were stoked after Iran's foreign minister warned the United States it would not go unaffected if the hostilities spread.

"I say frankly to the American statesmen and military forces who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome the expansion and scope of the war in the region," Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told an emergency United Nations General Assembly meeting.

"But I warn if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire."

That came after President Joe Biden warned Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against strikes on US troops.

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.5 percent at 31,072.93 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.7 percent at 17,324.90

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.5 percent at 3,002.16

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 150.20 yen from 150.35 yen on Thursday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0567 from $1.0564

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2137 from $1.2128

Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.05 pence from 87.07 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.9 percent at $83.99 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.8 percent at $87.74 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.8 percent at 32,784.30 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 7,354.57 (close)

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