Asian stock markets were mixed Friday with investors finding little guidance after Wall Street closed for the Thanksgiving holiday and Chinese markets in focus after a big sell-off the previous day.
KEEPING SCORE: Japanese shares resumed trading a day after a holiday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index recouping early losses to rise 0.1 percent to 22,550.85. The Shanghai Composite index was flat at 3,353.57 after hitting a fresh two-month low earlier. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rebounded 0.6 percent to 29,872.31 and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,544.33. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent lower to 5,982.60. Taiwan’s benchmark was flat and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly lower.
CHINA TRADING: Investors were warily watching shares on mainland exchanges following the previous day’s decline, when they tumbled in the final hour of trading, sending the Shanghai Composite down 2.3 percent. Traders blamed factors including tightening liquidity following reports the government is clamping down on online lenders and jitters over bond markets.
ANALYST INSIGHT: “Perhaps the focal point in the session ahead is on Chinese equity markets,” Chris Weston, chief strategist at IG in Melbourne, wrote in a commentary. “By all accounts, the market has got quite concerned about the recent rise in both government and corporate bond yields, which certainly makes sense given Chinese corporates have to roll over close to $600 billion in debt that comes due in 2018, so higher yields make the cost to do this more expensive.”
WEEK AHEAD: With few other catalysts expected and U.S. trading shortened for “Black Friday,” investors are looking ahead to possible market-moving events next week. President Donald Trump‘s tax overhaul is expected to come into the spotlight again as the Senate’s version goes to a vote. U.S. and Chinese manufacturing indexes are due for release, as well as data on U.S. new home sales, Japanese industrial production and European unemployment.
WALL STREET: U.S. stock markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
OIL: Energy futures were mixed. U.S. benchmark crude rose 43 cents to $58.45 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 20 cents to $57.82 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 12 cents to $63.43 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 111.53 yen from 111.22 yen in late trading Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1846 from $1.1854.
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