Asia Mixed on Positive Signals from Beijing

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Friday as Beijing hinted that it will not retaliate against the latest round of tariffs from Washington for now.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index sprang back up 243.44 points, or 1.2%, to close Friday, the week and the month at 20,704.37, as shares of index heavyweight and robot maker Fanuc surged 2.7%.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.37 against the U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 106.2 yesterday

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index regained 21.23 points, or 0.1%, to 25,724.73, with the city remaining in a state of turmoil as planned protests for the weekend were cancelled and pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was arrested.

Korean stocks finished their session higher as chipmaker SK Hynix saw its stock soar 5.6%.

The Bank of Korea left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Friday, a decision that was in line with expectations of analysts. The central bank had cut its base rate for the first time in three years in July.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6712 after seeing an earlier high of $0.6736.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 recovered 9.4 points, or 0.3%, to 3,749.59

Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, said Thursday that Beijing is willing to resolve its trade fight with Washington calmly, indicating that the Chinese are more interested in negotiations than they are on retaliating.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index added 24.69 points, or 0.8%, to 1,967.79

In Taiwan, the Taiex roared ahead 155.62 points, or 1.5%, to 10,618.05

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index tallied 24.69 points, or 0.8%, to 3,106.52

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 stepped forward 177.13 points, or 1.7%, to 10,757.20

In Australia, the ASX 200 grew 96.82 points, or 1.5%, to 6,604.22