Asian shares were mixed on Friday as investors weighed concerns about the US presidential election and economic stimulus package, on top of fears of an outbreak of coronavirus.
Investors are also eager to release data on the Chinese economy next week.
Shares rose in Japan and China but fell in South Korea and Australia.
Stocks on Wall Street mostly fell, with the S&P 500 losing a third straight this week.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 is down 0.1% to midday, 23,523.37. Australia’s S&P / ASX 200 shed 0.2% to 6,196.10. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.6% to 2,346.88. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.9% to 24,363.70 points, while the Shanghai Composite remained unchanged at 3,332.05.
“Asian stocks look set to get off to a mixed start today, as traders refresh US news while negotiating a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the world,” said Axi’s chief global market strategist Stephen Ines.
“The market is again having an affair again with an impending stimulus edge that investor uncertainty is moving beyond an expected choppy period in terms of headline risk,” Innes said.
The US stock index greatly reduced its initial loss and closed on a modest low Thursday, extending the losing streak of the S&P 500 on Thursday.
Wall Street has become cautious this week due to a confluence of worrisome trends for the economy, which is still hampered by the epidemic. Coronavirus infection is on the rise in Europe, prompting governments in France and Britain to implement new measures to prevent the outbreak. The Caseloads region is also growing in the Americas and parts of Asia.
In the US, investor optimism is that the Trump administration and Congress will soon reach an agreement on another round of stimulus for the economy.
Meanwhile, the campaign theatricality continues, with the latest question being whether next week’s debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden will proceed as planned. The skirmish planned for this week was called off after Trump’s coronavirus bout. Biden has stated that he plans to participate in next week’s debate but will ask Trump to take a COVID-19 test before he arrives.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2% to close at 3,483.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% to 28,494.20, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.5% to 11,713.87. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 1.1% to close at 1,638.88.
Stocks have mostly been climbing this month, but are back this week as the results of ongoing negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on the economic stimulus package have been found. Investors are hoping that Washington will provide more financial support for the economy from July, when the $ 600-a-week extra benefit for the unemployed expires.
US data on unemployment claims also weighed on investor sentiment. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to 898,000 last week, a historically high number that exceeds future forecasts.
Investors are also looking at earnings reports from American and global companies to see how they are caught amid the epidemic. A resurgence in COVID-19 cases in regions around the world will mean limitations on public life, including the possible return of a lockdown damaging to the increase.
In Energy Trading, Benchmark U.S. Crude lost 31 cents to $ 40.65 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It raised the value of 8 cents to $ 40.96 on Thursday. Internationally, Brent crude fell 41 cents to $ 42.75 a barrel.
The US dollar slipped to 105.26 Japanese yen from 105.42 yen late on Thursday. The euro costs $ 1.1706, slightly changed from $ 1.1710