Asia stocks mixed as investors weigh prospects of economic recovery from coronavirus

Asia stocks were mixed on Thursday as investors assessed the prospects of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.36% to close at 22,695.74 while the Topix index ended its trading day 0.3% higher at 1,603.82. South Korea’s Kospi also closed 0.19% higher at 2,151.18, adding to its nearly 3% Wednesday gains.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed on the day, with the Shenzhen component up 0.278% to about 11,139.26. The Shanghai composite, on the other hand, shed 0.14% to around 2,919.25. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.27% lower, as of its final hour of trading.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia rose by the market close, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.84% to 5,991.80. Australia retail sales for April plunged a seasonally adjusted 17.7% in April, according to data released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index edged 0.1% higher.