Asia Markets

Asian shares close mixed as tech names take a tumble

Key Points
  • Asian shares closed mixed on Friday, tracking the softer lead from Wall Street.
  • Blue chip technology stocks in South Korea took a beating.
  • The Bank of Japan offered to purchase an unlimited amount of long-term Japanese government bonds, Reuters said.

Asian shares came under pressure on Friday after Wall Street closed mixed and yields on U.S. government debt rose in the last session.

Japan's Nikkei 225 resumed its slide, closing down 0.9 percent, or 211.58 points, at 23,274.53 after snapping a six-day losing streak in the previous session.

Technology names were mostly lower, with heavyweight SoftBank falling 1.4 percent. Among other large cap names, Fanuc Manufacturing lost 1.3 percent and Fast Retailing lost 1.96 percent by the end of the session.

Airlines were also lower on the day, with ANA Holdings closing down 4.06 percent.

Shares of Nomura Holdings finished the session down 2.89 percent, underperforming other financials, after the company announced third-quarter earnings on Thursday. Net income for the quarter rose around 25 percent on year to 88 billion yen ($804.8 million).

Weakness in the benchmark index came as the country's central bank attempted to stop the rise in Japanese bond yields by offering to purchase an unlimited amount of long-term Japanese government bonds, Reuters reported.

Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi fell 1.68 percent to end at 2,525.39 as declines in blue chip tech names drove the index lower. Samsung Electronics lost 4.26 percent, SK Hynix declined 2.96 percent and Samsung SDI fell 4.53 percent.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 tacked on 0.51 percent to close at 6,121.4. The energy and gold sectors were among the best-performing in the session, climbing 2.42 percent and 1.53 percent, respectively. The heavily-weighted financials sub-index edged up 0.63 percent on the day.

China markets take a pause

China markets reversed slight declines to close above the flat line after sliding for most of the week. Hong Kong's edged up 0.17 percent by 3:12 p.m. HK/SIN. Financials were mixed in the afternoon: HSBC slipped 0.18 percent and Bank of China eased 0.43 percent. The energy space saw significant gains, with CNOOC trading higher by 4.64 percent ahead of the market close.

Ahead of the market close, Apple suppliers AAC Technologies and Sunny Optical rose 7.83 percent and 4.44 percent, respectively, following the U.S. tech giant's expectation-topping quarterly results.

On the mainland, the advanced 0.46 percent to close at 3,462.94 after touching its lowest levels in two weeks on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Shenzhen composite finished the session 0.03 percent higher. The blue chip CSI 300 index rose 0.61 percent by the end of the day.

Despite the gains on Friday, the Shanghai composite has fallen 2.83 percent between Monday's open and Friday's close. Recent declines appeared to be linked to concerns over unconfirmed market rumors about trust companies having to reduce leverage, according to Hao Hong, managing director and head of research at BOCOM International.

U.S. stocks ended the last session mostly lower following a session of choppy trade, which also saw bond yields climb. On Thursday, the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond crossed the 3 percent level for the first time since May while the 10-year yield rose as high as 2.792 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.14 percent, or 37.32 points, to close at 26,186.71. Other major indexes eased slightly.

Ahead, markets will be keeping an eye on the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls numbers due during U.S. hours.

Currency watch

The dollar extended overnight gains against the yen to trade at 109.81 at 2:57 p.m. HK/SIN.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, continued to trade below the 89 handle amid strength in the euro. The dollar index last stood at 88.777. Meanwhile, the common currency, which rose above the $1.25 level overnight, was a touch softer at $1.2493.

Meanwhile, oil prices extended gains: U.S. crude futures rose 0.46 percent to trade at $66.10 per barrel. Brent crude gained 0.3 percent to trade at $69.86.

Corporate news

New York-listed Alibaba announced Thursday that third-quarter revenue rose 56 percent, which was above what analysts were forecasting. The e-commerce giant said in a statement that it would take on a 33 percent stake in its payments arm, Ant Financial.