Asia Mixed as U.S. Markets Rally

Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed by the close on Thursday, following a surge in the U.S. markets overnight as tech stocks rallied.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ballooned 405.65 points, or 1.8%, to 23,249.61.

Auto and tech stocks jumped. Softbank was up 3.7%, while Sony rose 2.8%.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.66 per dollar, weakening after levels above 105 earlier.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng doffed 13.35 points, or 0.1 %, to 25,230.67.

Tencent shares slipped 1.4% after the Chinese tech giant reported earnings after markets close on Wednesday. Gaming boosted overall revenue in the second quarter, while Tencent saw some weakness in its advertising business.

Overall, its profit attributable to equity holders of the company was 33.1 billion yuan ($4.76 billion U.S.) compared to 27.56 billion yuan expected. That’s a 37% year-on-year rise.

Australian markets moved backward. Jobs data in Australia released on Thursday showed the unemployment rate surged to a 22-year high of 7.5% in July, according to Reuters. Coronavirus cases have surged again in recent weeks in the country’s Victoria state. Authorities had to impose a night curfew and tighten restrictions again last week in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city.

The Australian dollar changed hands at 0.7158, strengthening from earlier this week.

CHINA

The CSI 300 lost 11.93 points, or 0.3%, to 4,635.71.

China’s banks are expected to dispose of 3.4 trillion ($489.9 billion U.S.) of bad loans this year, in a bid to contain financial risks amid a weakened economy, according to Reuters citing the official Xinhua news agency.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 32.77 points, or 1.3%, to 2.595.97.

In Korea, the Kospi added 5.18 points, or 0.2%, to 2,437.53

In Taiwan, the Taiex index recovered 92.78 points, or 0.7%, to 12,763.13

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 eked ahead 8.91 points, or 0.1%, to 11,500.83

In Australia, the ASX 200 slumped 41.05 points, or 0.7%, to 6,091.