Hong Kong: Asian stock markets mixed on Friday after the Dow in New York rose for the first time in six sessions, while Chinese investors were nervous ahead of key trade figures later in the day.
Tokyo gained 1.25% by the break, Sydney rose 0.50% and Taipei added 0.30%. Hong Kong dipped 0.19% in the first few minutes and Shanghai fell 0.30% while Seoul was flat.
The region was given an upbeat lead from New York, where markets were higher after the US trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in April thanks to a recovery in exports and a dip in imports.
The Dow rose 0.63%, its first rise this month, while the broader S&P 500 added 0.74% and the Nasdaq climbed 0.35%.
The Nikkei posted its fourth straight rise after taking several blows in recent weeks over fears for the local economy.
“The Nikkei has ended in positive territory for the past three sessions despite a series of falls in US stocks because Japan shares are seen as undervalued,” said Toshiyuki Kanayama, market analyst at Monex.
Shanghai was lower in edgy trade as investors looked to export and import figures from Beijing to see if the government’s tightening measures to cool the economy have worked.
“Financial assets have been re-pricing for weaker global growth. Weak May imports (for China) could trigger further re-pricing,” Tim Condon, strategist at ING, told Dow Jones Newswires.
There are concerns that if the data show the economy is showing resilience to the interest rate hikes and other measures, leaders could announce a further round of tightening ahead of consumer price data on Tuesday.
Seoul, which had been more than one% higher in the early morning, pared those gains after the central bank said it would hike interest rates 0.25%age points as it tries to battle inflation.
On currency markets the euro fetched $1.4545, from $1.4509 late in New York Thursday, and 116.56 yen from 116.63. The dollar eased to 80.12 yen from 80.32.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, lost six cents to $101.87 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery rose 11 cents to $119.68.
Gold closed at $1,543.50-$1,544.50 an ounce in Hong Kong, down from the previous day’s close of $1,536.50-$1,537.50.