ASX, Shanghai lead Asia markets decline – CNBC

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Asia markets finished mixed on the final trading day of the week, but the major indexes in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong eked out weekly gains.

The Australian ASX 200 closed down 36.31 points, or 0.69 percent, at 5,236.40, led by over 1 percent declines in the energy and materials sub-indexes. For the week, the ASX 200 was up 1.53 percent.

Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG, said this morning before market open that ASX internals “show glaring profits, and possible buyer exhaustion,” with 84 percent of ASX 200 companies above their 50-day moving average, suggesting there might be some profit-taking at play.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 208.87 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,572.49 on the back of a relatively weaker yen. The index has posted gains in four of the last five sessions, rising 4.3 percent for the week. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi finished down 6.61 points, or 0.33 percent, at 2,015.49 on Friday, but advanced for the week.

Chinese mainland markets finished up, with the Shanghai composite up 6.78 points, or 0.23 percent, at 2,959.67, while the Shenzhen composite added 19.02 points, or 1.03 percent, at 1,867.55. Earlier in the week, the indexes came under pressure, with the Shanghai benchmark selling off as much as 4 percent at one point, which analysts said was due to a liquidity shortage in the country this month.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index closed down 155.21 points, or 0.72 percent, at 21,467.04.

“Share markets mostly continued to move higher over the last week as growth fears from earlier this year continued to recede and the oil price managed to push higher despite the failure of OPEC and Russia in Doha to agree a production freeze,” explained Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital.

Oliver explained the decline in Chinese shares this week was “on concerns that there won’t be more policy stimulus.”

ASX, Shanghai lead Asia markets decline – CNBC}