Asia Jumps as Kiwi Dollar Falls to Multi-Month Low

Asia markets closed higher on Friday after shaking off negative sentiment seen earlier in the day.

The Nikkei 225 index inched ahead 9.12 points to 21,457.64. However tiny the jump, the benchmark index has closed higher for 14 consecutive sessions now.

The Hang Seng Index recovered 328.15 points, or 1.2%, from a sharp drop on Thursday to conclude the week at 28,487.24. Experts attributed Thursday's fall to a range of factors including tighter liquidity and comments from the governor of China's central bank.

Investors appeared unconcerned over potential uncertainty in the lead up to Japan's elections on Oct. 22. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's coalition is likely to win a two-thirds majority, a poll from local outlet Kyodo News showed earlier this week.

Korean markets gained as most blue-chip tech stocks pared losses made on Thursday: Samsung Electronics closed up 1.6% and SK Hynix gained 2.8%. Those gains offset moderate losses seen in manufacturing names.

In Australia, the utilities sub-index rising 1.7% to lead gains on the broader index.

In individual stocks, Apple suppliers in Taiwan closed mixed after shares of the American tech giant slid in U.S. trade on reports of poor iPhone 8 sales: Largan Precision tumbled 3%, Hon Hai Precision Industry was down 0.9%, but Pegatron rose 2%.

Over in Japan, shares of Nissan closed down 1.6% after the automaker said Thursday it was suspending production in Japan for a period. The suspension will take place for a minimum of two weeks as the automaker looks into issues with its inspection systems

Shares of Kobe Steel finished the session 1.6% lower following headlines that it had continued to make up data even after investigations brought falsification issues to light. The company will hold a news conference later in the day

The New Zealand dollar extended losses after tumbling in the last session on news that the Labour Party would form a coalition government with the nationalist party, New Zealand First. The Kiwi dollar traded at $0.6992 U.S., below levels around the $0.71 handle seen for most of the week.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 faded 4.4 points, or 0.1%, to 3,926.85. People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan had warned Thursday that too much optimism in markets could lead to a collapse of asset prices

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index notched 16.48 points, or 0.7%, to 2,489.54

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index lost 31.41 points, or 0.3%, to 10,728.88

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index progressed 5.82 points, or 0.2%, to 3,340.73

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 took on 5.48 points, or 0.1%, to 8,129.55

In Australia, the ASX 200 nosed upward 10.86 points, or 0.2%, to 5,906.99