Asia shares waver, with Nikkei, Kospi edging lower – CNBC

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Major Asian markets wavered between positive and negative Friday, largely ignoring another positive finish on Wall Street overnight.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was down 0.06 percent in morning trade; across the Korean Strait, the Kospi was lower by 0.22 percent. Chinese markets oscillated between gains and losses, with the Shanghai composite up 0.1 percent and the Shenzhen composite was flat.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index bucked the trend, tacking on 0.65 percent.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 index was also up 0.24 percent, with the heavily-weighted financials sector up 0.34 percent, while the materials sector gained 0.74 percent.

Australian Miners were mostly positive, with Fortescue up by 0.83 percent and BHP Billiton adding 1.45 percent. South32, on the other hand, was off by 0.56 percent.

U.S. crude futures were up 0.38 percent at $34.70 a barrel as of 10:12 a.m. HK/SIN time, after losing steam overnight and falling 0.26 percent. Global benchmark Brent futures were flat at $37.08, after settling up 0.37 percent during U.S. hours.

Energy plays across the region were mostly up, with Santos up 4.07 percent, Inpex up 4.4 percent and Japan Petroleum up 4.16 percent. Woodside Petroleum, however, retreated by 0.15 percent.

Mainland Chinese oil plays were also higher, with China Petroleum up by 1.98 percent.

Safe-haven assets also maintained strength overnight, despite the relative stability in equities this week. U.S. gold futures for April delivery were up 1.26 percent an ounce at $1,257.60.

Spot gold, however, retreated 0.26 percent to $1,260.26 an ounce as of 10:16 a.m. HK/SIN time.

The Japanese yen also strengthened against the dollar as the dollar/yen pair moved back to the 113 handle overnight after climbing over 114 Thursday. The pair traded down 0.22 percent at 113.42 on Friday morning local time.

Japanese export stocks were mixed, with shares of Toyota up 0.34 percent, while Nissan and Honda slipped 0.37 and 0.13 percent, respectively. A stronger yen is usually a negative for exporters as it reduces their overseas profits when converted to local currency.

Asia shares waver, with Nikkei, Kospi edging lower – CNBC}