Asian Stock MarketsAsian Markets Mixed, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Jumps 2%

A man walks past a screen displaying share prices inside the Osaka Securities Exchange building, operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Osaka, Japan, [Photo/Bloomberg]

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday, as investors continued to watch developments surrounding China Evergrande Group.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan jumped 2.06% to close at 30,248.81, with shares of Fast Retailing and Softbank Group gaining 1.5% and 2.76% respectively. The Topix index gained 2.31% to finish the trading day at 2,090.75.

asian markets
Nikkei 225 Index Performance Chart

South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, closed fractionally lower at 3,125.24 While, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 1.45% to close at 23,155.49.

Shares of China Evergrande Group in Hong Kong fell 11.61%. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Chinese authorities have told local officials to prepare for the potential demise of Evergrande. Uncertainty also remains around whether Evergrande will pay the interest that was due Thursday on a dollar-denominated bond.

Mainland Chinese stocks slipped on the day, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,613.07 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.205% to around 14,357.85.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.37% to finish the trading day at 7,342.60. While the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped about 0.5%.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 506.50 points to 34,764.82 while the S&P 500 gained 1.21% to 4,448.98. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.04% to 15,052.24.

Thursday’s gains left the major averages on Wall Street in positive territory for the week, recovering from earlier losses.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.149 — still above levels around 93 seen earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.39 per dollar, having weakened days earlier from around 109.2 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7269 following its climb yesterday from below $0.724.

Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.16% to $77.37 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped fractionally to $73.27 per barrel.

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