Asian stocks were mixed Friday as investors mulled continued talks over US stimulus and the economic impact of fresh restrictions in some nations to curb the pandemic.
Shares slipped in Tokyo and Seoul, but climbed in Hong Kong.
US President Donald Trump said he is willing to go beyond the US$1.8 trillion offer for relief that has already been put forward, but US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected that.
US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin told US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Trump would personally lobby to get reluctant Senate Republicans behind any stimulus deal they reach.
With fresh US stimulus remaining elusive for now, investors are monitoring clampdowns in Europe’s biggest cities as concern grows that measures aimed at containing COVID-19’s spread could cause more damage to a fragile global recovery.
“We need to take into account the tremendous rally we’ve had over the past five months so some consolidation is certainly warranted,” Northern Trust Corp chief investment strategist Jim McDonald said on Bloomberg TV.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index on Friday fell 0.2 percent to 174.62, down 0.4 percent for the week.
The TAIEX on Friday fell 0.6 percent to close at 12,750.37, falling 1.6 percent from Monday.
Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Friday to post their third weekly gain in a row, as investors cheered fresh policy support and upbeat data that pointed to China’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) rose 0.9 percent to close at 24,386.79, while the China Enterprises Index (HSCE), the index tracking mainland firms listed in Hong Kong, gained 1.6 percent to 9,914.90.
For the week, the HSI gained 1.1 percent, while the HSCE added 3.1 percent, both posting their third straight weekly gains.
Investors cheered latest upbeat trade data showing China’s imports last month grew at their fastest pace this year. New bank loans grew more than expected, fueled by a jump in corporate loans.
China’s economic recovery likely stepped up in the third quarter as consumers returned to shopping malls and major trading partners reopened for business, shaking off the record slump seen earlier this year.
Japan’s TOPIX on Friday dipped 0.9 percent, bringing its weekly loss to 1.8 percent. The Nikkei 225 on Friday fell 0.4 percent, down 0.9 percent for the week.
South Korea’s KOSPI on Friday lost 0.8 percent, falling 2.6 percent from Monday’s opening.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1 percent, bringing its weekly gain to 1.96 percent.
India’s SENSEX on Friday rose 0.6 percent, but was down 1.3 percent for the week. The NIFTY 50 added 0.7 percent on Friday, but was also down 1.3 percent on the week.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index on Friday fell 0.5 percent, paring its weekly gain to 1.2 percent.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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