Tokyo, Japan (BBN)– Shares in Asia were in mixed territory on Friday ahead of a closely watched US monthly jobs report.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed down 1.32 per cent to 16,819.59 points as a stronger yen against the dollar hurt the country’s big exporters for a second day, reports BBC.
Toyota and Honda shares finished the day down about 2.0 per cent, while Mazda shed nearly 5.0 per cent.
At the close of trade, Toyota reported a 4.7 per cent rise in net income for the three months to December.
However, the firm’s operating profit for the quarter fell by 5.3 per cent, missing forecasts.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 spent the day in negative territory and closed flat, down 0.08 per cent to 16,819.59.
The country’s big lenders had weighed on the market and analysts said traders were being cautious ahead of a US jobs report due out later.
Energy firms regained lost territory late in the day, however, with Woodside finishing up 0.41 per cent and rival Santos up 2.2 per cent. Mining giant BHP finished up close to 5.0 per cent.
Official numbers released earlier showed Australia’s retail sales had come in flat for the month of December – a 0.4 per cent gain was expected. But analysts said the numbers still supported economic growth.
“December quarter real retail sales rose by 0.6 per cent, which was less than expected, but similar to the last few quarters,” said AMP Capital’s head economist Shane Oliver.
“It implies that consumer spending has again helped support December quarter GDP growth,” he added.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was up 0.4 per cent to 19,255.88 points in afternoon trade, while the mainland’s benchmark Shanghai Composite closed down 0.63 per cent to 2,763.49.
South Korea’s Kospi index closed flat, up just 0.08 per cent to 1,917.79.