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 (NIKKEI:JP:NIK) was nearly flay, while Hong Hong’s Hang Seng Index (HONG:HK:HSI) slipped 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite (SHG:CN:SHCOMP) fell 0.2% and the Shenzhen Composite (SHENHZEN:CN:399106) dipped 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721) sank 1.4% while benchmark indexes in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999) , Singapore (SES:SG:STI) , Malaysia (KLS:MY:FBMKLCI) and Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX) were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO) advanced 0.7%.
Sony (TKS:JP:6758) gained in Tokyo trading while SoftBank (TKS:JP:9984) sank, while in Hong Kong, Wharf Real Estate (HKG:HK:1997) rose as HSBC (HKG:HK:5) and PetroChina (HKG:HK:857) fell. Samsung (KRX:KR:005930) 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 (DOW:DJIA) fell 80.12 points, or 0.3%, to close at 27,896.72, while the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) 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 (AMERICAN:COMP) rose 30.27 points, or 0.3%, higher to close at 11,042.50.