Asian Shares Mixed As China’s COVID Cases Hit Record

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Friday but posted weekly gains on optimism over a less hawkish Fed. A cautious undertone prevailed amid concerns over record-high domestic daily Covid-19 cases in China.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent to 3,101.69 after a choppy session as the country grappled with increasing lockdowns that have fueled frustration among the population.

Videos posted on social media showed violent clashes in “iPhone City” Zhengzhou, which plays a key role in the technology supply chain.

Property developers topped the gainers list after China’s biggest commercial banks pledged at least $162 billion in fresh credit to the beleaguered sector.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed 0.5 percent lower at 17,573.58, dragged down by tech firms.

Japanese shares fell and yields on the benchmark 10-year bond rose 0.5 basis points to 0.25 percent after data showed Tokyo’s inflation outpaced forecasts to hit its fastest clip since 1982.

The Nikkei 225 Index slipped 0.4 percent to close at 28,283.03 but gained 1.4 percent for the week on hopes for slower interest rate hikes in the United States. The broader Topix finished marginally lower at 2,018.

Dentsu Group shares fell 2.7 percent after reports that prosecutors raided the headquarters of the advertising company in connection with possible bid-rigging for Tokyo Olympics test events.

Seoul stocks ended a volatile session slightly lower on concerns about China’s worsening Covid-19 situation. The Kospi eased 0.1 percent to settle at 2,437.86. LG Chem, Naver, SK Hynix and KakaoTalk fell 1-2 percent.

Australian markets rose for the fourth straight day, with financials and technology stocks leading the advance. Mining and energy stocks fell on profit taking after recent strong gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.2 percent to settle at 7,259.50, while the broader All Ordinaries Index closed 0.2 percent higher at 7,447.60.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 0.5 percent to 11,382.56.

U.S. markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday and will close early later today.

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