Asian Stock markets closed trading on a mixed note with modest advances recorded in key regional benchmarks viz Japan’s Nikkei 225, Australia’s ASX 200, and New Zealand’s NZX 50.

It was weak sentiment elsewhere. China’s Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, and South Korea’s Kospi closed trade on the last day of the week in negative territory. Despite local cues, trading sentiment in the region mostly lay anchored around progress in virus-fights and the likely pace of normalization from a pandemic induced ultra-loose monetary policy.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index sank 70 points or 1.95 percent to close at 3518.76 as recent political comments by Chinese officials dampened trading sentiment, already impacted by anxiety ahead of crucial jobs data from the U.S.

The Nikkei 225 Index of the Japan Exchange Group added 76.24 points or 0.27 percent to finish Friday’s trade at 28783.28.

Mazda Motor was the top gainer with an addition of 6.53 percent. Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding moved up by 5.07 percent whereas Sony Corp advanced 3.66 percent. Nikon Corp topped the trailers list with an erosion of 2.91 percent followed by Tokyo Electron which lost 2.11 percent.

The USDJPY pair hovered near 111.5 levels as a worsening domestic coronavirus situation and strengthening dollar trajectory pushed the pair to 16-month lows.

The Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange closely followed the Chinese Shanghai Composite Index to shed 575.83 points or 2.0 percent to close at a multi-week low of 28252.12. The day’s high was at 28690 and the day’s low at 28184.

The KOSPI index of the Korea Exchange shed 0.28 points or 0.01 percent to close trade at 3281.78 as investors weighed the spikes in coronavirus infections and the declines in annual and monthly inflation numbers. The annual inflation decreased to 2.4 percent in June from 2.6 percent in May and the forecast of 2.59 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 closed Friday’s trade with a gain of 43 points or 0.59 percent at the level of 7308.60 as the govt announced a vaccine-milestone linked four-phase reopening scheme. The index’s current level is 1.32 percent below its 52-week high.

IDP Education rallied 20.31 percent following announcement of acquisition of British Council’s Indian IELTS operations. The A2 Milk Company moved up 5.16 percent after appointing a new Chief Marketing Officer. IPH declined 5.28 percent following proposal to issue ordinary shares.

In the meanwhile, Aussie fell below a 7-month low of 0.747 to the US Dollar.
The NZX 50 added 28 points or 0.22 percent to close at 12711.84 amidst data that showed ANZ Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index remained at previous month’s level of 114 as compared to a forecast of 115.

Media group NZME gained 11.84 percent whereas online lender Harmoney Corp moved up 6.47 percent. Water related services provider Just Life Group also rose 5.95 percent.

MHM Automation dropped 4.69 percent whereas health and wellness brand Me Today which recently declared annual results declined by 4.35 percent.

Overnight the Nasdaq 100 had closed at 14560.05, up 0.04 percent whereas the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s final reading for Thursday was 34633.53, higher by 0.38 percent over the previous close in the backdrop of strong manufacturing PMI numbers.

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