Asian stock markets were mixed higher Friday after Wall Street gained and Chinese factory activity improved.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.1 percent to 19,078.81 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,220.28. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 shed 0.3 percent to 5,880.20 and Seoul’s Kospi was little-changed at 2,164.00. India’s Sensex retreated 0.1 percent to 29,604.21 and benchmarks in Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta also declined. New Zealand and Singapore gained.
Stocks were boosted by gains for banks and other financial companies on rising bond yields, which result in higher rates on loans. That nudged the Nasdaq composite index to an all-time high. Energy companies also gained as crude oil prices rose. Utilities and other high-dividend stocks fell. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent to 20,728.49. Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.3 percent to 2,368.06. The Nasdaq gained 0.3 percent to 5,914.34.
President Donald Trump tweeted that his April 6-7 meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, “will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses.” On Friday, the president was due to sign orders for an official report on trade abuses by other governments and for authorities to step up collection of anti-dumping duties on imports. “A bad meeting with President Xi would raise the prospect of a trade war,” said Tim Condon of ING in a report. “Unfortunately, his failure to close the deal on Obamacare dents confidence in Trump’s ability to get to yes with President Xi.”
The Commerce Department raised its estimate for economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 2.1 percent from 1.9 percent. It said consumer spending increased more than expected. The Labor Department said applications for unemployment benefits dipped last week. The latest data follow positive reports on consumer confidence and housing this week.
The dollar gained to 112.06 yen from Thursday’s 111.91 yen. The euro rose to $1.0681 from $1.0677.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 18 cents to $50.17 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 84 cents on Thursday to close at $50.35. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 26 cents to $52.87. It gained 59 cents the previous session to $53.13.