Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday as North Korea’s latest missile launch over the Japanese archipelago earlier in the day stirred new worries and stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation data stoked expectations of another Fed rate hike this year.
Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said his country would “never tolerate” North Korea’s dangerous actions”. Rex Tillerson, U.S. secretary of state, said that these continued provocations only deepen North Korea’s diplomatic and economic isolation.”
China’s Shanghai Composite index dropped 17.81 points or 0.53 percent to 3,353.62 on worries the economy is losing some momentum. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 16 points or 0.06 percent at 27,761 in late trade.
Japanese shares shrugged off a weak start to end modestly higher as the dollar regained its footing against the yen after sliding in early trading.
The Nikkei 225 index gained 102.06 points or 0.52 percent to finish at 19,909.50 while the broader Topix index closed 0.42 percent higher at 1,638.94.
Showa Denko KK, Tokai Carbon, Mitsubishi Motors, Astellas Pharma, Nikon and Tokyon Electron were among the prominent gainers.
Australian shares fell as the base metals selloff continued on Thursday following the release of disappointing Chinese economic data. Banks also succumbed to selling pressure on renewed geopolitical tensions after North Korea launched another missile over Japan.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 43.70 points or 0.76 percent to
5,695, but ended the week 0.4 percent higher. The broader All Ordinaries index closed down 42.60 points or 0.73 percent at 5,755.80.
Miners BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto lost 2-4 percent. Banks ANZ and Westpac fell over 1 percent while rivals Commonwealth and NAB ended down 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Seoul shares reversed earlier losses to end a tad higher, shrugging off North Korea’s latest missile launch. The benchmark Kospi rose 8.41 points or 0.35 percent to 2,386.07, led by gains in telecoms and technology stocks.
New Zealand shares fell for a fourth day after manufacturing and housing data painted a mixed picture of the economy. While activity in the country’s manufacturing sector expanded at a faster rate in August, house sales dropped by 20 percent, separate reports showed.
The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 56.57 points or 0.72 percent to 7,762.66. Air New Zealand shares dropped 2.4 percent to extend losses for the fourth straight session.
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