Asian markets were little changed in early trading Friday, after stocks fell on Wall Street as the stalemate over a second coronavirus-aid plan continued to fester on Capitol Hill.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.51% was nearly flay, while Hong Hong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.32% slipped 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.12% fell 0.2% and the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.23% dipped 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.27% sank 1.4% while benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.26% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.88% , Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI +0.56% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX +2.13% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.51% advanced 0.7%.
Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -0.67% gained in Tokyo trading while SoftBank /zigman2/quotes/207303954/delayed JP:9984 +1.26% sank, while in Hong Kong, Wharf Real Estate /zigman2/quotes/205885756/delayed HK:1997 -0.81% rose as HSBC /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 -1.40% and PetroChina /zigman2/quotes/204979431/delayed HK:857 -0.43% fell. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +0.17% declined in Seoul trading.
Asian stocks were muted as U.S. lawmakers’ “political grandstanding delay is posing some risk for the global recovery,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, in a note. “Still, there is no chance of this deal not going through ... and one thing investors feel confident about is that they like stocks higher, so look for dips to be bought on the expectation of the deal eventually going through.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the two sides remain “miles apart” in the stimulus talks, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially sent senators home for a three-week summer recess, though they may be recalled if there is a breakthrough to vote on.
U.S. stocks finished lower in listless trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.34% fell 80.12 points, or 0.3%, to close at 27,896.72, while the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.60% lost 6.92 points, or 0.2%, to close at 3,373.43, after hitting an intraday peak at 3,387.24 to momentarily breach its Feb. 19 closing record at 3,386.15. The Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +2.26% rose 30.27 points, or 0.3%, higher to close at 11,042.50.