Asia report: Markets mixed as Reserve Bank of India holds rates
Markets in Asia ended the last session of the week in a mixed state on Friday, as India’s central bank stood pat on interest rates.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.4% at 28,941.52, as the yen strengthened 0.15% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 110.12.
Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing was flat, while among the benchmark’s other major components, robotics specialist Fanuc was down 2.24% and technology giant SoftBank Group losing 1.29%.
The broader Topix index eked out gains of 0.03% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing at 1,959.19.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was ahead 0.21% at 3,591.84, as the smaller, technology-centric Shenzhen Composite rose 0.63% at 2,407.65.
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.23% to 3,240.08, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slipped 0.17% to 28,918.10.
Seoul’s blue-chip technology stocks were weaker, with Samsung Electronics down 0.72% and SK Hynix off 0.39%.
Equities in India were in the red, with the Nifty 50 down 0.13% and the BSE Sensex off 0.25%, after the Reserve Bank of India kept its repo rate unchanged at 4%.
The central bank also lowered its economic growth projections for the current year, to 9.5% from its previous 10.5%, as the country grapples with a major second wave of Covid-19 infections.
Oil prices were higher as the region entered the weekend, with Brent crude last up 0.49% at $71.66 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rising 0.52% to $69.17.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.49% at 7,295.40, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 advanced 0.53% to 12,496.27.
The down under dollars were both stronger against the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.11% at AUD 1.3040, and the Kiwi advancing 0.14% to NZD 1.3975.