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Japan stocks slip, China shares rise in thin trading

A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past an electronic board showing prices of Japan's Nikkei average in Tokyo.
Yuya Shino | Reuters
A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past an electronic board showing prices of Japan's Nikkei average in Tokyo.

Japan's Nikkei share average ended a shade lower in holiday-thinned Christmas trading on Friday, as utilities and financial stocks fell.

The Nikkei closed 0.11 percent lower at 18,769.06, having oscillated between gains and losses for most of the session. Trading volumes were thin given most global financial markets were shut for the Christmas holiday.

Elsewhere, stocks in China, the only other major Asian market open for trading Friday, climbed higher.

Nikkei fell 1.1 percent during the week, extending their losing streak to four weeks.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
---
SHANGHAI
---
KOSPI
---
CNBC 100
---

The utilities component of the Nikkei was the worst performer, sliding 3.93 percent. Consumer non-cyclical stocks performed best, rising 0.65 percent.

Exporters lost ground, with Toyota Motor and Honda Motor falling 0.76 percent and 0.69 percent, respectively. Panasonic dropped 0.83 percent.

The dollar hit a near two-month low against the yen overnight. It was last at 120.11 yen.

Financials also lost ground, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group shedding 1.69 percent and 1.49 percent, respectively.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries tumbled 4.64 percent after its aircraft unit Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp said on Thursday it would delay the first delivery of its regional jet by around one year from the original plan.

The broader Topix fell 0.49 percent to 1,516.19.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,627.91.

China's yuan firmed against the dollar on Friday in line with the central bank's guidance rate, and is set for a slight weekly gain after a seven-week losing streak.

The People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.4713 per dollar prior to market open, 0.06 percent firmer than the previous fix of 6.4755.

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