Asia Stocks Trading Mixed, Aussie Dollar Weakens

Asian equities were mixed, with stocks rising in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia and falling in China and South Korea. The Australian dollar declined after another disappointing set of economic data.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average recovered most of its worst slide in nine months after U.S. stocks steadied. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up after falling for eight consecutive days to Wednesday.

Global markets have succumbed to a bout of profit taking this week with eight days of losses for Asian equities culminating Wednesday in the biggest slide since last December for the region’s stocks index. Technology stocks, this year’s biggest winners, have posted the largest declines along with emerging-market shares, also standout winners in 2017.

Elsewhere, sterling weakened as efforts to rescue Brexit talks appeared to stumble. The loonie fell as the Bank of Canada kept borrowing costs on hold at its last interest-rate decision of 2017 and reiterated it will be “cautious” with future moves.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

· The Topix index was up 1.2 percent at the close in Tokyo and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 1.5 percent. The Nikkei dropped 2 percent on Thursday.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.5 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi index was 0.3 percent lower.

· Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.4 percent, and the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.5 percent.

· Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent. The underlying measure closed little changed.

· The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.5 percent.

Currencies

· The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 percent.

· The Australian dollar fell 0.2 percent to 75.46 U.S. cents.

· The yen fell 0.2 percent to 112.49 per dollar.

· The euro traded at $1.1790.

· The pound added to losses, falling 0.2 percent to $1.3366.

Bonds

· The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 2.34 percent.

· Australia’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to 2.51 percent.

Commodities

· West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.2 percent at $56.07 a barrel after falling 2.9 percent on Wednesday.

· Gold was at $1,259.77 an ounce.

Source: Bloomberg

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