Middle East Tensions Produce Mixed Asia Markets

Shares in Asia Pacific and oil prices were mixed on Friday, following attacks on two tanker ships in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 regained 84.89 points, or 0.4%, to 21,116.89,

The Japanese yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 108.19 to the U.S. dollar after earlier touching 108.40.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 176.36 points, or 0.7%, to 27,118.35, as tensions remained high over a controversial extradition bill.

Australian markets finished positive, as the sectors mostly advanced.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6904 U.S., seeing declines for much of the week from earlier levels above $0.700.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attacks, but they occurred against the backdrop of heightened tension in the Middle East and between the U.S. and Iran. The Iranian leadership has repeatedly threatened to block traffic in the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 30.51 points, or 0.8%, to 3,654.88

In Korea, the Kospi index lost 7.74 points, or 0.4%, to 2,095.41

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index inched up 1.97 points, or 0.1%, to 3,222.63

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index moved lower 36.34 points, or 0.3%, to 10,524.67

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 11.56 points, or 0.1%, to 10,235.37

In Australia, the ASX 200 recovered 11.6 points, or 0.2%, to 6,554