TOKYO – Asian stocks were mostly down on Friday in poor trading as trade tensions between the United States and China offset optimism about more fiscal stimulus for the struggling US economy.
Investors were also awaiting a U.S. jobs report later Friday for another indicator of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. stocks rose as investors also waited for Congress and the White House to reach a hoped-for deal on more aid to the U.S. economy.
Hope is a smooth recovery as lockdowns ease, but fear is that global ‘second wave’ risks and growing tensions between the US and China will cast a wrench on … recovery ongoing, ”said Hayaki Narita of Mizuho Bank in Singapore. The Japanese reference Nikkei 225 NIK,
slipped 0.8%, while Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 XJO,
sank 0.6%. Kospi 180721 from South Korea,
edged down 0.2%. Hang Seng HSI from Hong Kong,
slipped 2.2%, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP,
Toyota Motor Corp. 7203,
Stocks gained nearly 2% in morning trading after the main Japanese automaker said it managed to stay in the dark in April-June, despite falling sales. Nintendo Co. shares also climbed, gaining 2.3%, after the Japanese video game maker reported healthy earnings as people trapped at home grabbed gaming software.
In Hong Kong, the shares of Tencent 700,
sank after President Donald Trump issued an executive order that appeared to bar U.S. companies from doing business with the maker of WeChat after September 20.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
climbed 0.7% to 27,386.98 after hesitating between smaller gains and losses for much of the day. The Nasdaq composite COMP,
rose 1%, to 11,108.07 and set another record.
Today’s economic report showed nearly 1.2 million workers applied for unemployment benefits last week. It would have been an incredible number before the coronavirus pandemic leveled the economy. But that’s a slight slowdown from the previous week’s tally, and it wasn’t as bad as economists expected.
It was also the first drop in jobless claims after two weeks of increases, and economists called it not encouraging. But the threat of more business closures due to the continuing pandemic means the road remains treacherous.
The price of gold, bought as a hedge against uncertainty, rose further, gaining $ 12.00 to $ 2,081.40 per ounce.
US benchmark crude oil CLU20,
fell 12 cents to $ 41.83 a barrel for electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slipped 24 cents to settle at $ 41.95 a barrel on Thursday. Brent BRNV20 crude,
, the international standard, added 10 cents to $ 44.90 a barrel.
The US dollar USDJPY,
rose to 105.56 Japanese yen from 105.53 yen.