Asia stocks mostly higher yet investors remain cautious

Asia stocks traded mostly higher on Friday but investors remained cautious after U.S. lawmakers seemed unable to move forward with a coronavirus stimulus bill.

Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.58% to 6,126.20, with most sectors notching gains. The heavily-weighted financials subindex wavered between gains and losses before advancing 0.23%. Shares of major banks in the country were mostly up but Commonwealth Bank shares declined 0.93%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.17% to 23,289.36 while the Topix index gave up earlier gains to finish near flat at 1,623.38. South Korea’s Kospi index declined 1.23% to 2,407.49 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was near flat in late-afternoon trade.

Chinese mainland shares rose: The Shanghai composite was up 1.19% at 3,360.1, the Shenzhen component index added 1.49% to 13,489.01 and the Shenzhen composite was up 1.25% at 2,244.17.

Major indexes in India and Indonesia also rose while Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.34% in afternoon trade.