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Asian shares mixed with Hang Seng edging into positive territory

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Shutterstock photo - - Asian stocks were mixed on Friday, with gains in Japan and Hong Kong offsetting declines in Australia, at the end of a broadly negative week for the region's stocks.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.03% and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.34%, though Chinese consumer prices rose slightly less in April than expected.

China's April CPI and PPI data. CPI rose 1.8% year-on-year. less than the 2.0% expected and PPI fell 2.0%, more than the drop of 1.9% expected.

Shares of Agricultural Bank Of China (HK:1288) rose as investors cheered news that the bank plans to raise up to 80 billion yuan ($12.8 billion) in preferred stock to shore up its capital base.

The inflation numbers came out one day after a set of strong Chinese trade data boosted regional sentiment, with a surprise increase in exports.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.6% in trading, as the index retreated from a 0.8% gain on Thursday--its biggest rise in a month. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's KOSPI rose 0.1%.

Japan's Nikkei 225added 0.6%, as the market recovered from weak trading earlier in the week. Tokyo was digesting Thursday's earnings from bellwether Toyota Motor Corp Ltd Ord (TOKYO:7203), which gained 0.6%, as a surge in profit over the last 12 months offset the company's forecast of flat revenue and operating profit in the coming year.

U.S. stocks ended mixed to lower overnight. The Dow 30 rose 0.20%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.14%, while the NASDAQ Composite Composite index fell 0.40%.

Technology stocks came under selling pressure earlier, as investors viewed the sector as too frothy and sidestepped momentum stocks, Internet equities especially, which brought the Nasdaq down.

Good news out of the labor market drew some applause and allowed for sideways trading.

The Department of Labor reported that number of individuals filing for unemployment assistance last week fell by 26,000 to 319,000 from the previous week's revised total of 345,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 20,000 to 325,000.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 1.33%, France's CAC 40 rose 1.37%, while Germany's DAX rose 0.90%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.63%. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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