Asia-Pacific markets were mixed in early trading on Friday as investors remained cautious as U.S. lawmakers appeared unable to move forward with a bill to stimulate the coronavirus.
Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.24% immediately after market opening, with the high-weight finance sub-index up 0.75%. Shares of major banks in the country mainly rose, with the National Bank of Australia at 1.78%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.23% but the Topix index was fractionally lower. South Korea̵7;s Kospi index fell 0.22%.
The session in Asia followed a mixed end on Wall Street overnight where the S&P 500 once again failed to reach its record high since February. This was despite the positive data of US unemployment claims that came below what economists predicted, implying that the US labor market was starting to improve.
Lawmakers in the United States appear to be stuck during the next round of coronavirus aid, and an agreement on legislation and the passage of a bill will be weeks away.
U.S. House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi has said she will not resume talks with Republicans on the issue until they increase their $ 1 trillion aid offer. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Road” that the administration and Democrats were in a “stalemate.”
The US dollar traded lower against a basket of its peers as the dollar index fell 0.07% to 93,269. The Japanese yen changed hands at 106.96 against the dollar and the Australian dollar traded close to flat at $ 0.7146.
- CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.