Asia Mixed in Year’s Last Session

Major markets in Asia closed narrowly mixed on the last trading day of the year following the moderately higher close seen stateside. On the whole, however, most regional markets have recorded strong gains year-to-date.

The Nikkei 225 fell 19.04 points, or 0.1%, to 22,764.94, as the U.S. dollar slipped further against the yen. Still, the index saw gains of some 19% for the year. Banks made gains in the session, while automakers and tech names finished mixed. Retailers saw slight losses.

In company news, SoftBank Group and Uber came to an agreement that will see the Japanese tech giant take a 15% stake in the ride-hailing start-up. The deal values Uber at $48 billion U.S., which is a roughly 30% discount to its $68-billion valuation in 2016. Shares of SoftBank closed off by 0.1%.

Against the yen, the dollar edged down to trade at 112.70, after beginning the week around the 113 handle.

The Hang Seng Index gained 55.44 points, or 0.2%, to 29,919.15, having risen more than 35% year-to-date.

Down Under, Australian markets moved, well, downward, with losses seen in most sectors, barring materials and health care. Banking stocks were slightly lower on the whole: ANZ closed down 0.2% and Westpac was lower by 0.6%. Among mining names, Rio Tinto climbed 1.2% and Fortescue Metals shed 1.2% by the end of the day.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 picked up 11.95 points, or 0.3%, to 4,030.85

Korean markets had the day off, the Kospi finishing the trading year Thursday at 2,467.49, up 21.6% this year.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index hiked 75.22 points, or 0.7%, to 10,642.86

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index added 3.82 points, or 0.1%, to 3,402.92

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 slumped 10.45 points, or 0.1%, to 8,398.08

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 23.01 points, or 0.4%, to 6,065.13