Asia-Pacific markets retraced some losses on Thursday to trade mixed as traders grappled with optimism around a potential coronavirus vaccine and economic worries.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.36% to 25,634.34 while the Topix index rose 0.33% to 1,726.41. In South Korea, the Kospi index erased earlier losses to rise fractionally to 2,547.42.
Chinese mainland shares reversed course to erase earlier losses: The Shanghai composite was up 0.52%, Shenzhen composite rose 0.645% and the Shenzhen component advanced 0.9%. Elsewhere, in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.46% in afternoon trade.
In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 erased earlier losses to finish up 0.25% at 6,547.20. The so-called Big Four banks closed higher, with Westpac up by 2.31%. Major miners were mixed, with BHP down by 0.87%.
Jobs in the country surged, beating expectations in October after the state of Victoria eased coronavirus restrictions. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed employment increased by 178,800 people from September while the unemployment rate rose fractionally from 6.9% to 7% — Victoria’s employment rose by 81,600 people.