Asian shares surge on solid China data, optimism on earnings

Asian shares were higher Friday after China reported steady economic growth in the second quarter of the year. Stocks also tracked a bullish session overnight on Wall Street, as strong earnings reports pushed the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P to fresh record highs.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.2 percent to 16,575.63 as the yen weakened against the dollar. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong climbed 0.7 percent to 21,709.69 and South Korea's Kospi index added 0.5 percent to 2,019.62. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6 percent at 5,444.20. The Shanghai Composite index edged up 0.1 percent to 3,056.40. Shares in Southeast Asia also rose.