Asian shares mixed on China developer, virus concerns

South Korea Financial Markets

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Friday amid concerns over troubled Chinese real estate developer Evergrande and over the pandemic.

Japan’s benchmark jumped after reopening from Thursday’s national holiday, but shares were little changed in South Korea and China.

On Wall Street, stocks rose broadly for a second day in a row, reversing losses for the week. Investors were pleased to have gotten some clarity from the Federal Reserve a day earlier that it was not on the verge of raising interest rates.

Evergrande Group’s announcement that it was making a payment due Thursday has helped to ease worries over whether it might default on its huge debt obligations.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.9% in the morning session to 30,200.89. South Korea's Kospi inched up less than 0.1% to 3,128.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.4% to 7,338.50. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2% to 24,559.31, while the Shanghai Composite lost nearly 0.1% to 3,639.88.

Masayuki Tsunashima of Mizuho Bank warned risks remained for markets from the potential troubles at Evergrande. Prolonged coronavirus outbreaks also pose risks, he said.

“So, it cannot be ruled out that optimism remains fragile or, at the very least opportunistic as underlying risks have simply not been addressed, much less put to bed,” he said. “And this is consistent with markets remaining prone to volatility and negative shocks.”

On Wall Street, stocks rose for the second straight day, reversing the sharp pullback at the start of the week. The S&P 500 rose 1.2% to 4,448.98. More than 85% of companies in the benchmark index notched gains.

The Dow gained 1.5% to 34,764.82, while the Nasdaq rose 1% to 15,052.24. The Russell 2000 rose 1.8% to 2,259.04. It’s up 1% for the week.