U.S. Tax Bill Delayed; Asia Mixed

Asia markets were mixed on Friday afternoon, giving up some of the early morning gains. That came despite a positive lead from the U.S. that included the Dow Jones industrial average closing above 24,000 for the first time.

The Nikkei 225 index gained 94.07 points, or 0.4%, to 22,819.03

The Hang Seng Index lost 103.11 points, or 0.4%, to 29,074.24

Shares of Toyota retreated from gains of roughly 1% to close up 0.1% Honda was up 0.8% and Mitsubishi Electric rose 0.3%. A relatively weaker yen is usually a positive for exporters as it increases their overseas revenue when converted into local currency.

Elsewhere, Sharp shares rose 7.9% in afternoon trade, after the company said it received approval from the Tokyo Stock Exchange to return to the exchange's first section this Thursday. Sharp's common shares were reassigned to the second section of the market last year.

Among other currency majors, the Japanese yen traded at 112.64 to the dollar, weakening from an overnight low of 111.71. The relatively weaker yen saw some export stocks gain in Japan — although most came off earlier highs.

Australian markets recovered, as major banking stocks finished mixed with shares of ANZ up 0.6%, Commonwealth Bank down 0.4% and Westpac higher by 0.3%

Energy plays in Australia rose with Santos shares gaining 1.2%, Oil Search up 2% and Woodside Petroleum higher by 1.2%. Japan's Inpex was also up 2.8% and Japan Petroleum advanced 2.8%.

The Australian dollar fetched $0.7558 against the U.S. dollar.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 7.96 points, or 0.2%, to 3,998.14

Elsewhere, China's November Caixin manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, which focuses on the country's small and mid-sized businesses, came in weaker than expected.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index fell 0.96 points to 2,475.41

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index regained 39.93 points, or 0.4%, to 10,600.37

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index picked up 16 points, or 0.5%, to 3,449.54

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 pointed up 2.01 points to 8,188.83

In Australia, the ASX 200 recovered 19.86 points, or 0.3%, to 5,989.76