Asia Mixed Ahead of Jackson Hole Summit

Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Friday as investors remained cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole symposium where Fed Chair Jerome Powell is due to speak.

The Nikkei 225 lost 101.15 points, or 0.4%, to 27,614.14. The Japanese yen traded at 110.07 against the U.S. dollar, weakening from an earlier level around 109.87.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index let go of 7.8 points to 25,407.89.

The highly anticipated Jackson Hole symposium from the Fed will be held virtually on Friday. Investors are expecting to hear what Powell thinks about the state of the U.S. economy and how he might guide the central bank’s exit from the measures it took to rescue the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian markets were flat as the heavily weighted financials sub-index rose 0/3% while the energy sector was flat and materials fell 0.5%.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7252, up around 0.25%.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 25.43 points, or 0.5%, to 4,827.04.

In Korea, the Kospi index inched up 5.37 points, or 0.2%, to 3,133.90

In Singapore, the Straits Times slipped 28.65 points, or 0.9%, to 3,080.77

In Taiwan, the Taiex index advanced 142.97 points, or 0.8%, to 17,209.93

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 picked up 8.17 points, or 0.1%, to 13,059.79.

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 2.94 points at 7,488.29