Asia Markets: Stocks in Japan and China fall, but losses at least slow down

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An uncertain start for some Asian stock markets following Thursday’s drubbing evolved into broad gains Friday as trading progressed — with the notable exceptions of Japan and China. Still, the region will post big weekly declines absent a huge move higher by the day’s end.

Japan’s morning declines have persisted, with the Nikkei
NIK, -0.45%
  seeing a 0.3% drop. Insurers and energy stocks were notable decliners following fresh overnight declines in bond yields and oil prices. Dai-ichi Life
8750, -4.51%
  was down 4.3%, in line with yesterday’s skid, while oil distributor JXTG
5020, -0.90%
  dropped a further 1%.

Chinese stocks, weak early after their worst day in 2½ years, just slid to session lows following the release of September trade data. The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP, -1.59%
  is down 0.5% and the Shenzhen Composite
399106, -2.88%
  was off 1.4%.

Hong Kong stocks opened broadly higher after yesterday’s beatdown, to be one of Asia’s better early performers. The Hang Seng
HSI, +0.23%
  was up 0.5% after a 17-month closing low Thursday. A technical indicator suggests the Hang Seng’s finish Thursday put the index at its most-oversold level since the start of 2016. After a record 10 straight drops, Tencent
0700, +3.00%
 was up nearly 4%. Meanwhile, insurer AIA
1299, +1.24%
  gained 1.5%.

Benchmark indexes in New Zealand
NZ50GR, +1.30%
 , South Korea
SEU, +0.99%
  and Taiwan
Y9999, +0.54%
 , all of which saw their worst days in at least 7 years yesterday, rose some 1% each. Indexes in Singapore
STI, +0.02%
  and Malaysia
FBMKLCI, +0.57%
  also rose, while Australia’s ASX 200
XJO, -0.23%
  was about flat.

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