By Associated Press
SINGAPORE — Asian stock markets were mixed Friday ahead of more regional economic releases that could hint at how the delta variant is affecting growth.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -2.80% gained 0.1%, while South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.77% slid 1.5%. The Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.06% in Hong Kong dropped 0.9%.
The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.33% shed 0.2%, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.03% added 0.4%. New Zealand’s benchmark /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR -0.04% jumped, while those in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.12% , Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 -0.82% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.33% fell.
Japan and Thailand will report their economic growth for the second quarter next week. While traders won’t “pay much attention to this backdated GDP data,” they will watch how the delta variant is hitting the wider growth trajectory, ING analysts said in a report.
China will also release its industrial output and retail sales figures for July. This comes after the country’s services sector was shown to have rebounded ahead of a fresh COVID-19 wave.
“Industrial production will be watched after the July trade data release, which was regarded to be resilient but missed the consensus,” Lewis Cooper of IHS Markit said.
Over on Wall Street on Thursday, gains by technology and health care companies outweighed a pullback elsewhere in the market.
Traders worked through a mixed picture of economic data. The Labor Department said that jobless claims fell to 375,000 from 387,000 the previous week, another sign that the job market is healing from the pandemic.
At the same time, inflation at the wholesale level jumped a higher-than-expected 1% in July, matching the rise from the previous month,
The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.97% rose 0.3% to 4,460.83, in its third straight all-time high. Several big technology stocks, including Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -2.10% , rose and countered weakness in chipmakers, industrial firms and energy companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.96% added less than 0.1% to 35,499.85. The blue-chip index also set its third record high in three days. The tech-heavy Nasdaq /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -1.15% edged up 0.3% to 14,816.26.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 48 cents to $68.61 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude , the price standard for international oils, gave up 44 cents to $70.87 per barrel in London.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0035% retreated to 110.38 yen from Thursday’s 110.42 yen.