Asian Stock Markets Decline as Oil Prices Rise on Afternoon Trades

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were lower in Friday trade following an overnight bounce on Wall Street on the back of better-than-expected U.S. economic data.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.55% while the Topix index fell 0.9%. Japan’s industrial output rose 4% in September from the previous month, according to a preliminary report released Friday by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index sat below the flatline by the afternoon. Mainland Chinese stocks were also lower, with the Shanghai composite down 0.1% while the Shenzhen component dipped 0.417%.

Over in Singapore, the Straits Times index declined 0.23%. Shares of Nanofilm Technologies surged more than 15% from their listing price as they made their debut in the city on Friday. The firm’s listing is Singapore’s largest in at least six years, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia nudged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up around 0.1%. AMP saw its stock soar more than 20% after the firm announced Friday it received a conditional takeover offer from Ares Management.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged 0.09% higher.

In coronavirus developments, Moderna said Thursday it is prepping for the global launch of its potential coronavirus vaccine. That comes amid a rise in cases in the U.S. as well as Europe, with Germany and France announcing new nationwide lockdowns.

Shares of Apple suppliers in Asia fell in Friday trade. In Japan, Taiyo Yuden fell about 2.4% and Murata Manufacturing slipped 1.71% Over in South Korea, LG Display also declined 1.04%.

Hong Kong-listed shares of AAC Technologies slipped 0.71%. Largan Precision’s stock in Taiwan bucked the overall trend as it rose 0.66%.

The moves came after the Cupertino-based tech giant reported fourth-quarter earnings that slightly beat Wall Street expectations. Apple, however, did not offer investors any guidance for the quarter ending in December — meaning that investors and analysts don’t get clues on the firm’s sales performance expectations of the iPhone 12, which went on sale in October.

Apple’s stock had dropped over 4% in extended trading.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 139.16 points higher at 26,659.11, its first daily gain in five days. The S&P 500 also snapped a three-day decline as it gained 1.2% to finish its trading day at 3,310.11 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.6% to close at 11,185.59.

U.S. GDP for the third quarter expanded more than expected. The number of first-time unemployment-benefits filers also declined for a second straight week and touched its lowest level since March.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.793 after rising from levels below 93.5 this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.38 against the greenback after weakening from levels around 104 per dollar yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7051, having seen a decline from levels above $0.708 earlier this week.

Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures about 0.6% higher at $37.88 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.58% to $36.38 per barrel.

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