Asian markets end mixed on Friday

Asian markets ended mixed on Friday as weak manufacturing data from China as well as lingering trade tensions offset upbeat corporate earnings results from the US. The two-day US-China trade talks ended without anything concrete results, though US President Donald Trump said the trade dispute would hopefully be resolved before the March 1 deadline. Investors also awaited cues from the latest US jobs report due later in the day. Street expects employment to rise by 165,000 jobs in January after an addition of 312,000 jobs in December. The jobless rate is expected to hold at 3.9 percent. Japanese shares ended marginally higher as investors digested mixed economic readings. While Japan’s manufacturing activity grew at its slowest pace in 29 months in January, the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to 2.4 percent in December from 2.5 percent the month before. Chinese shares ended higher even as weak data reinforced investor concerns of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.  A private survey showed that China’s factory activity continued to weaken last month, providing the latest evidence of a prolonged economic slowdown. The Caixin/Markit PMI dropped to 48.3 in January from 49.7 in the previous month. Meanwhile, markets in Malaysia and Taiwan were closed for Federal Territory Day and the Lunar New Year holidays, respectively.

Asian Indices

Last Trade           

Change in Points

Change in %

Shanghai Composite

2,618.23
33.66
1.30

Hang Seng

27,930.74
-11.73
-0.04

Jakarta Composite

6,538.64
5.67
0.09

KLSE Composite

Nikkei 225

20,788.39
14.90
0.07

Straits Times

3,188.68
-1.49
-0.05

KOSPI Composite

2,203.46
-1.39
-0.06

Taiwan Weighted