Asian markets were mixed on Friday as investors watched for developments on the U.S.-China trade front.
Mainland Chinese stocks were edged up on the day, with the Shenzhen component up 0.89 percent to 9,548.96 and Shenzhen composite advancing 0.91 percent to approximately 1,612.26. The Shanghai composite added 0.11 percent to around 2,932.17.
China’s industrial profits for August dropped 2 percent from a year earlier, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That followed a 2.6 percent gain in July and a 3.1 percent in June.
“The pressure is there, it’s not just in terms of … exports,” Sian Fenner, lead Asia economist at Oxford Economics, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Friday. “The investment growth has remained very weak and we’ve even seen that consumption has actually slowed with what we’ve been seeing in retail sales.”
“It does look we’re gonna have another weak quarter and we will need more stimulus,” she added.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index slipped 0.3 percent, as of its final hour of trading.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.77 percent to close at 21,878.90 as shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group fell 1.96 percent. The Topix index also shed 1.17 percent to end its trading day at 1,604.25.
Shares of Apple supplier Japan Display plummeted 10.45 percent after the company said Thursday Chinese investment firm Harvest Group would withdraw from a bailout.
In South Korea, the Kospi declined 1.19 percent to end its trading day at 2,049.93. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.58 percent higher at 6,716.10.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.24 percent lower.
Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are set to resume on October 10 in Washington, D.C., three people close to the talks told CNBC on Thursday. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be representing the delegation from Beijing, one of the people told CNBC.
The latest development comes as Beijing and Washington remain locked in a tariff fight that has lasted for more than a year, rattled markets and clouding investor sentiment over the global economic outlook.
Meanwhile, shares of semiconductor-related companies in Asia were mixed after Micron announced mixed first-quarter guidance and saw its stock drop as much as 7.75 percent in extended trade stateside.
Japan’s Tokyo Electron dropped 1.89 percent, while Renasas advanced 1.11 percent . Over in South Korea, Samsung Electronics slipped 1.63 percent and SK Hynix fell 2.28 percent. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company shares in Taipei rose 1.49 percent.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 99.259 after bouncing from levels below 99.0 in the previous trading day.
The Japanese yen traded at 107.8 per dollar after weakening from levels below 107.5 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.676 following a decline from levels above $0.678 seen earlier in the trading week.
Oil prices slipped in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures shedding 0.86 percent to $62.20 per barrel and U.S. crude futures declining 0.6 percent to $56.07 per barrel.