Asia Concludes Week Mixed

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday as investors monitored moves in the commodities space after prices fell sharply on Thursday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 54.25 points, or 0.2%, to 28.964.08.

The Bank of Japan on Friday announced its decision to hold steady on monetary policy as well as an extension of the duration of its pandemic relief program.

Following that announcement, the Japanese yen traded at 110.01 per U.S. dollar, stronger than levels above 110.5 against the greenback seen yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rallied 242.68 points, or 0.9%, to 28,801.27.

Indexes in Singapore were fractionally higher. Singapore’s government announced Friday that it will further ease COVID-related restrictions next week, though at a slower pace than previously announced as local infections have not seen a significant decline.

Investors watched for market moves in the commodities sector after a recent tumble in prices.

Shares of major Australian miners fell on Friday: Rio Tinto declined 0.6% and BHP dropped 2.5% while Fortescue Metals Group shed 0.8%.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7534 as it struggled to recover after declining from above $0.768 earlier this week.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 inched up 0.57 points to 5,102.46.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recovered 5.85 points, or 0.2%, to 3,144.16

The Kospi index in Korea inched up 2.97 points, or 0.1%, to 3,267.96

In Taiwan, the Taiex index slumped 72.07 points, or 0.4%, to 17,318.54

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 stepped forward 10.74 points, or 0.1%, to 12,551.93.

In Australia, the ASX 200 regained 9.82 points, or 0.1%, to 7,368.85..