Asian stocks were mixed on Friday morning, putting an end to a rough week for the market. Investor sentiment remained unsure even as China rolled out efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
China reported a 3.9% increase in industry activity for April year-on-year, performing better than an Investing.com forecast of a 1.5% increase. However, retail sales plunged by 7.5% in April year-on-year, in contrast to analysts’ prediction of a 7% decline.
China’s Shanghai Composite climbed by 0.02%, regaining previous losses at 10:39 PM ET (3:39 AM GMT). Meanwhile, the Shenzhen Composite slid by 0.04%, losing its footing from an earlier session.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.35%, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.5%. South Korea’s KOSPI slipped by 0.02% as Australia’s ASX Index gained 0.87%.
Investors kept cautious after a second COVID-19 outbreak was reported in China, Korea, and Hong Kong. Many warned that the wave could threaten gains made in stocks as several countries eased lockdown measures in a bid to restart their economies.