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Tokyo hurt by worries about North Korea nuclear test as most Asian markets fall

Tokyo hurt by worries about North Korea nuclear test as most Asian markets fall

Most Asian markets fell Friday, with stock prices in Tokyo slipping as speculation that North Korea would test a nuclear bomb offset optimism about Wall Street's record.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dipped 13.27 points, or 0.08 percent, to 16,436.06.
"The market is very choppy right now," said Mike Newman, head of equity sales at HSBC Securities in Tokyo. "We're up one day and down the next as people lock in whatever gains they have, and that's causing people to be wary."
Hitachi Ltd. fell 0.43 percent after the consumer electronics maker announced earlier Friday it planned to recall about 16,000 laptop battery packs made by Sony Corp.
Hitachi's move is the latest in a massive global recall of the batteries, which can overheat and catch fire. Last week, Toshiba Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. said they would recall Sony-made lithium-ion batteries following earlier recall plans by Lenovo Group and other computer makers.
Toshiba shares dropped 2.21 percent, while Sony Corp. advanced 1.10 percent. Fujitsu inched up 0.40 percent.
Banking stocks moved higher, while makers of game machines fell. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. added 1.88 percent, while Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. sank 2.21 percent.
Anxiety over North Korea's threatened nuclear test also prompted some players to sell shares, they said.
In Hong Kong, shares fell slightly Friday, as losses in China-related stocks outweighed sharp gains by property companies on easing interest rate worries. The blue-chip Hang Seng Index slipped 4.28 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,903.39.
China Mobile fell 1.2 percent after hitting an all-time closing high Wednesday.
Elsewhere, China Merchants Holdings fell 2.2 percent and China Resources dropped 1.8 percent.
New World was one of the day's biggest blue-chip gainers, rising 2.6 percent.
Analysts said the Hang Seng will likely find resistance at the psychologically important 18,000 level, and may fall next week on the launch of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China's initial public offering roadshow.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar gained against the euro and the Japanese yen. The greenback bought 118.00 yen in Tokyo late Friday, up from 117.61 yen from late Thursday in New York.
The euro fell to US$1.2684 from US$1.2690.
Elsewhere:
BANGKOK: Thai shares declined 0.2 percent to 694.60 in light trade as traders held off moves ahead of the announcement of country's new cabinet lineup.
JAKARTA: Indonesia shares moved up 0.3 percent to 1,549.63, as foreign funds took profit.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares advanced in thin trade, led by gaming concern Genting Bhd's rise. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index edged up 0.2 percent to 970.98 points.
MANILA: Philippine shares slipped as investors locked in gains from the previous session. The benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 0.03 percent to 2,560.22.
MUMBAI: Indian shares edged down 16.60 points, or 0.1 percent, to 12,372.81.
SINGAPORE: Singapore shares rose slightly amid worries about the performance of U.S. markets. The Straits Times Index advanced 7.82 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,649.30.
SYDNEY: Australian shares were hurt by investor caution ahead of a long weekend in the U.S. and the pending release of U.S. jobs data. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.4 point to 5,220.7. The All Ordinaries advanced 3.5 points to 5,178.3.
WELLINGTON: New Zealand shares edged down as losses by Telecom canceled out gains by other stocks. The NZX-50 index dipped 3.2 points to 3,592.48.
The stock markets in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul and Taipei were closed.


Updated : 2020-12-01 22:41 GMT+08:00