Asian stocks ended mixed on Thursday as solid private payrolls and services sector data from the United States dampened hopes for a policy pivot from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
U.S. Treasury yields rebounded while the dollar wobbled in choppy trading as investors looked ahead to the release of U.S. labor and inflation data for additional clues on how much room the Fed has to tighten its policy without materially damaging the U.S. business cycle.
Mainland Chinese markets remained closed for the Golden Week holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dipped 0.4 percent to 18,012.15 after surging around 6 percent on Wednesday.
Japanese shares advanced, led by gains by energy and chip-related stocks. The Nikkei 225 Index hit a two-week high before closing 0.7 percent higher at 27,311.30. The broader Topix ended half a percent higher at 1,922.47 ahead of a market holiday on Monday.
Inpex Corp., Japan Petroleum, Advantest and Tokyo Electron jumped 2-4 percent. Rakuten Group surged 4.6 percent on reports that Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is in talks to acquire a stake in the e-commerce giant’s securities unit.
Seoul stocks extended gains for a third day running as big-cap tech shares extended recent gains on hopes for a recovery in a semiconductor industry cycle in the second half of next year. The Kospi climbed 1.0 percent to 2,237.86.
Australian markets finished on a flat note after two sessions of strong gains. Banks fell on recession fears, offsetting strong gains in the energy sector after OPEC+ agreed to cut production by 2 million barrels per day to shore up prices. Woodside Energy climbed 2.6 percent and Santos added 1.8 percent.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index closed 0.5 percent lower at 11,125.24. Heavyweight a2 Milk fell 1.4 percent.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended a choppy session modestly lower after two days of strong gains.
The Dow slipped 0.1 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 edged down 0.2 percent.
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