Chips in Focus in Mixed Asia Trade

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Friday trade as investors monitored coronavirus developments.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 revived 42.32 points, or 0.2%, to 23,516.59.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.74 per U.S. dollar, having weakened from levels around 104.5 against the greenback yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ballooned 132.65 points, or 0.5%, to 24,918.78.

Semiconductor-related stocks in Asia-Pacific were watched on Friday after chipmaker Intel reported mixed quarterly numbers.

In Japan, shares of Tokyo Electron dropped 2.7% while Advantest slipped 1.1%. In South Korea, industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics saw its stock rise 0.2% while chipmaker SK Hynix gained 0.7%.

On the coronavirus front, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir for the virus. The intravenous drug has helped shorten the recovery time of some hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday a deal on new coronavirus stimulus was "just about there" though she warned that passing it into law will take time as she and the Trump administration attempt to iron out remaining issues.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7127 following its rise from levels below $0.705 earlier this week.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 59.49 points, or 1.3%, to 4,718.49.

In Korea, the Kospi index inched forward 5.76 points, or 0.2%, to 2,360.81.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index retreated 18.21 points, or 0.1%, to 12,878.82.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 8.98 points, or 0.4%, to 2,537.39

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 recovered 63.04 points, or 0.5%, to 12,470.34.

In Australia, the ASX 200 fell 6.71 points, or 0.1%, to 6,167.05.