Stocks Flat on Chinese Economic Figures

Stocks in Asia were little changed on Friday as data showed China’s industrial output bouncing back more than expected in April.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 regained 122.69 points, or 0.6%, to 20,037.47.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.17 per U.S. dollar after weakening from levels around 106.8 yesterday.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong slid 32.27 points, or 0.1%, to 23,797.47.

Australian indexes ended the day in the plus column, as shares of major miner BHP jumped 3.5%. The Australian dollar was at $0.6453, off highs above $0.654 seen earlier this week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 12.4 points, or 0.3%, to 3,912.82.

On the economic data front, China’s industrial output rose 3.9% year-on-year in April, according to data released Friday by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That marked the first expansion in the metric for this year from China.

Analysts had expected industrial output for April to rise 1.5%. Retail sales, however, fell 7.5% in April. That was a larger fall than the 7% decline forecast.

Data from China has been watched by investors has been watched for signs of where the country, where the first cases of the coronavirus pandemic were reported, has managed to restart its economy following lockdown measures implemented earlier in the year.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi eked higher 2.32 points, or 0.1%, to 1,927.28

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index inched up 1.24 points, or 0.1%, to 2,523.55

In Taiwan, the Taiex index made its way moderately, by 34.04 points, or 0.3%, to 10,814.92

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 14.48 points, or 0.1%, to 10,730.68.

In Australia, the ASX 200 restocked 76.09 points, or 1.4%, to 5,404.81.