Asia-Pacific Mostly Declines

South Korean and Taiwanese stocks led losses among major Asia-Pacific markets in Friday trade, with shares of firms related to conglomerate Samsung falling.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 37.82 points, or 0.1%, to 27,977.15.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.26 per U.S. dollar, weaker than levels below 110.20 seen against the greenback earlier this week

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng subtracted 126.2 points, or 0.5%, to 26,391.62.

Shares of South Korean industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics plunged 3.4% while Samsung C&T dropped 0.7%. Samsung Life Insurance fell 0.4% and Samsung SDS declined 2%.

Those losses came after Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee was released from prison on Friday. South Korea’s justice ministry announced earlier this week that he had qualified for parole.

Australian markets made some progress, as investors watched the coronavirus situation, with the country’s capital Canberra entering a week-long lockdown from Thursday after a COVID-19 case was identified.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.734, off levels above $0.736 seen earlier in the trading week.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 docked 27.37 points, or 0.6%, to 4,945.98.

In Singapore, the Straits Times dipped 17.31 points, or 0.5%, to 3,165.49

The Kospi index in Korea sank 37.09 points, or 1.2%, to 3,171.29.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index plummeted 237.87 points, or 1.4%, to 16,982.11

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 defied the tide and gained 82.25 points, or 0.7%, to 12,764.06.

In Australia, the ASX 200 jumped 40.74 points, or 0.5%, at 7,628.92.