Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as energy shares dropped with crude while health-care and consumer-staple companies advanced.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent to 132.97 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo after falling as much as 0.1 percent. The gauge posted its biggest three-day advance since April through Wednesday as Japanese shares erased their Brexit losses amid signs the government will add more stimulus. The Topix index rose 0.2 percent on Thursday after sliding 0.1 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed and South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.3 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 0.2 percent, heading for a record close after surging more than any other major developed market index this year.
China’s stocks headed for the longest run of weekly declines since 2012 as a slowing economy, high levels of debt and policy uncertainty weighed on the nation’s financial markets.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell for the fifth week in a row, extending declines to 9 percent since April 15. China Southern Airlines Co. led the slide for air carriers amid concern a weaker yuan will increase the cost of servicing dollar-denominated debt. Suspected state intervention limited the plunge in Shanghai, widening the mismatch between onshore and offshore prices.
China’s reforms drive aims to improve supply quality and overhaul areas including pricing, taxation, finance and social security, the Xinhua News Agency cited President Xi Jinping as saying at a government meeting. His comments came amid record crude steel output in April, with the industry boosted by easier credit and efforts to shore up economic growth. The nation should abandon the idea of easing money conditions to accelerate economic growth, the state-run People’s Daily daily quoted an “authoritative” person as saying last week.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.8 percent for the week to trade at 2,805.23 as of 10:09 a.m. The CSI 300 Index retreated 0.1 percent on Friday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index reversed an early decline to surge 1.1 percent and the Hang Seng Index gained 0.8 percent.