The Asia Pacific markets were mixed in trading early on Friday as investors remained cautious after US lawmakers appeared unable to proceed with the coronavirus stimulus bill.
Australia’s ASX 200 gained 0.24% shortly after the market opened, with the weighted financial sub-index rising 0.75%. Shares of major banks in the country mostly increased, of which National Bank of Australia rose 1.78%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 increased by 0.23%, but the Topix index was somewhat lower. South Korea̵7;s Kospi Index decreased by 0.22%.
The Asian session follows a mixed finish on Wall Street overnight as the S&P 500 has again failed to hit a record high since February. That despite data on the positive US unemployment claims is much lower than what economists predicted, implying that the US labor market is starting to improve.
Lawmakers in the United States appear to be at a standstill over the next round of coronavirus aid and a deal on legislation and passage of the bill looks likely to be a few weeks away.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will not restart talks with Republicans on the issue until they increase their request for aid by $ 1 trillion. White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow also told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the administration and Democrats are in “deadlock.”
The US dollar traded lower against its basket of currencies as the dollar index fell 0.07% to 93,269. The Japanese yen changed hands at 106.96 against the dollar, and the Aussie was trading roughly the same at $ 0.7146.
— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.