China’s stocks on Friday closed higher in choppy trading amid uncertainties regarding a resurgence of COVID-19, while liquidity and retail investor enthusiasm fueled the main indexes to post the biggest monthly percentage rises since February last year.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.71 percent at 3,310.01. The ended last month with a 10.9 percent rise, its biggest monthly gain since February last year, and increased 3.54 percent for the week.
The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.84 percent at 4,695.05, posting its biggest monthly gain since last February, an increase of 12.8 percent.
The financial sector sub-index increased 0.5 percent, the consumer staples sector rose 0.34 percent, the real-estate index gained 0.18 percent and the healthcare sub-index rose 1.39 percent.
The smaller Shenzhen Composite Index ended up 1.33 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite Index increased 1.887 percent.
China’s factories last month recovered at a faster pace, as improving prospects for electrical and pharmaceutical goods helped sustain a broader recovery from earlier coronavirus shutdowns, but the country’s health authority reported 127 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland on July 30, up from 105 the previous day, the highest daily increase since March 5.
Bleak US economy data, which showed that it suffered the biggest blow to GDP since the Great Depression in the second quarter, also overshadowed global recovery hopes.
In Taipei, the TAIEX ended down 58.12 points, or 0.46 percent, at 12,664.8, after moving between 12,635.71 and 12,733.48. Turnover was NT$207.84 billion (US$7.04 billion).
The index rose 2.93 percent for the week.
Elsewhere in the region, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 2.82 percent, or 629.23 points, to close at 21,710.00, extending its losing streak for a sixth trading day.
It lost 4.58 percent from Wednesday last week before a four-day holiday weekend.
The broader TOPIX also lost 2.82 percent, or 43.41 points, to 1,496.06, and dropped 4.89 percent over the week.
“Negative factors such as a strong yen and record infections in Tokyo are mounting,” said Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.
“Risk-averse sentiment is getting stronger, prompting investors to flee the market,” Yamamoto said.
The US dollar fetched ￥104.28 in Asian afternoon trade, against ￥104.78 in New York late on Thursday.
Tokyo’s governor confirmed a record 463 new COVID-19 infections Friday, a day after the capital asked restaurants and bars to shut earlier to help contain the outbreak.
Investors largely shrugged off Japan’s key economic indicators released earlier in the day, brokers said.
Japan’s jobless rate in June stood at 2.8 percent, falling by 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, the first improvement in the past seven months, official figures issued by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed.
Hong Kong shares ended lower, as a resurgence in COVID-19 infections and likely delay in local elections countered optimism over faster recovery in Chinese factories and strong US tech earnings.
At the close of trade, the Hang Seng Index was down 115.24 points or 0.47 percent at 24,595.35. It was down 0.45 percent for the week.
South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.78 percent to 2,249.37, but increased 2.22 percent for the week.
Additional reporting by staff writer, with AFP and CNA
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