China stocks lead advances in Asia-Pacific; yuan holds gains against dollar

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Friday, with the Chinese yuan holding on to recent gains against the dollar.

Mainland Chinese stocks led advances among the region’s major markets, with the Shanghai composite up 2.07% to about 3,338.09 while the Shenzhen component advanced 1.766% to 13,245.09. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index finished its trading day 0.47% higher at 24,455.41.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.18% higher at 23,360.30 while the Topix index gained 0.49% to end its trading day at 1,646.42. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.26% to close at 2,412.40.

Shares in Australia bucked the overall trend as they edged down on the day, with the SP/ASX 200 0.32% lower at 5,864.50.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index gained 0.53%.

In corporate developments, shares of Malaysian glove maker Top Glove were up more than 2%, as of about 4:15 p.m. local time in Malaysia.

The firm on Thursday announced its earnings for the fourth quarter and full financial year 2020, with profit after tax for the full financial year 2020 surging 417% from the previous financial year. In a press release, the firm said the “tremendous growth stemmed from a global surge in demand for gloves on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Over in Japan, conglomerate Softbank Group saw its stock slip 1.09% on the day. The firm announced it will sell its entire stake in mobile services firm Brightstar, which was founded by Marcelo Claure, SoftBank’s current chief operating officer.

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