Asia Pacific markets are blended, Kospi up 1.2%

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The Japan Exchange Group logo is displayed on a glass door at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo, Japan.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Friday as investors watched negotiations over additional fiscal stimulus in the US

The South Korean Kospi index rose 1.21% while the Kosdaq rose 0.64%. Government data released on Friday showed the country’s exports rose 26.9% year over year in the first 10 days of December, thanks to a surge in sales of key products like semiconductors, Reuters reported.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.51% while the Topix index was down 0.1%.

The Australian benchmark index ASX 200 fell 0.26% with most sectors in the red. The heavily weighted financials sub-index fell 0.37% as three of the country’s so-called Big Four banks battled for profits. The Westpac share, however, gained 0.13%.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong gained 0.86%. Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai Composite falling 0.13%, the Shenzhen Composite falling 0.67% and the Shenzhen Component falling 0.6%.

Friday’s session followed a mixed end on Wall Street, where the S&P posted 500 consecutive losses – US futures traded flat.

Markets will have to “weigh a weak short-term picture against a much brighter medium-term picture as vaccines roll out,” Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank, said in a morning note. “In this environment, stocks have largely held up recent gains.”

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, fell 0.17% to 90.672 from levels above 90.800 in the previous session.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 103.99 the dollar, up 104.27 from previous levels. Elsewhere, the Australian dollar rose 0.28% to $ 0.7554.

Oil prices rose during Friday’s Asian trading hours, with US crude oil futures rising 0.36% to $ 46.95 a barrel. The global benchmark Brent rose 0.24% to $ 50.37.

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