In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.19% to close at 20,704.37 as shares of index heavyweight and robot maker Fanuc surged 2.73%. The Topix index also added 1.46% to end its trading day at 1,511.86.
Similar gains were seen in South Korea, where the Kospi finished the session 1.78% higher at 1,967.79 as chipmaker SK Hynix saw its stock soar 5.59%.
The Bank of Korea left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Friday, a decision that was in line with expectations of analysts surveyed by Reuters. The central bank had cut its base rate for the first time in three years in July.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.49% to close at 6,604.20.
Mainland Chinese shares, on the other hand, slipped on the day. The Shanghai composite was down 0.16% to about 2,886.24 and the Shenzhen component shedding 0.35% to 9,365.68. The Shenzhen composite fell 0.744% to approximately 1,579.25.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was fractionally higher, as of its final hour of trading, with the city remaining in a state of turmoil as planned protests for the weekend were cancelled and pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was arrested.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index gained 0.95%.
Positive signals from Beijing
“We firmly reject an escalation of the trade war, and are willing to negotiate and collaborate in order to solve this problem with a calm attitude,” Feng said, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. He noted that the Chinese and U.S. trade delegations have maintained “effective” communication.
Still, one strategist urged caution for investors.
“We have been telling our clients to somewhat de-risk portfolios a month ago,” Vasu Menon, executive director of investment strategy at Singapore’s OCBC Bank, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday.
“In some ways, we are neutral,” Menon said. “We’re not saying you should get out of the market completely. I think that’s not a good idea, fundamentals are not that bad right now. What’s dragging the market down is sentiment.”
Meanwhile, a closely watched yield curve inversion in U.S. Treasurys remained, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note below that of the 2-year note’s rate. That has raised concerns among some investors as the phenomenon has historically preceded a recession. The yields on the 10-year and 2-year Treasury notes were last at 1.5298% and 1.5359%, respectively.
Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart
|NIKKEI||Nikkei 225 Index||NIKKEI||20704.37||243.44||1.19|
|HSI||Hang Seng Index||HSI||25724.73||21.23||0.08|
|ASX 200||S&P/ASX 200||ASX 200||6604.20||96.80||1.49|
|CNBC 100||CNBC 100 ASIA IDX||CNBC 100||7696.61||81.35||1.07|
Currencies and oil
The Japanese yen traded at 106.37 against the dollar after weakening from levels below 106.2 yesterday, while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6712 after seeing an earlier high of $0.6736.
Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.36% to $60.86 per barrel and U.S. crude futures losing 0.67% to $56.33 per barrel.
— Reuters and CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.