Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed, as MSCI’s inclusion fails to make a splash in China


Asian stocks were mixed in early trading Friday. Selling was the order of the day Down Under, with benchmarks in Australia and New Zealand about 0.3% lower. But the Nikkei ticked up after modest early declines and Korea’s Kospi was 0.7% higher.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.32%   was up 0.4%, helped by advances by automakers and banks. Toyota 7203, +3.02%  was up more than 2% and Honda 7267, +0.84%  gained 1%.

Chinese stocks were lagging after Thursday’s 1%-plus rebound ahead of the inclusion of mainland equities in MSCI indexes. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.19%  , fresh off its longest losing streak in 4½ years, was off 0.2% early. Big consumer names let out some stream, while oil stocks were back under pressure amid overnight weakness in U.S. oil prices.

Read: Here’s what investors need to know about MSCI’s inclusion of China A-shares in its indexes

Any impact from the MSCI’s inclusion was proving to be short-lived in the case of Lifestyle International 1212, -28.91%  , which joined the MSCI Hong Kong Small Cap Index on Friday. Institutional investors, which track the index, made their switching in the final minutes of trading Thursday. That sent shares of the operator of SOGO department stores in Hong Kong surging a record 43% and on a sharp jump in trading volume. But they were down 26% Friday morning.

Hong Kong stocks HSI, +0.11%   opened modestly higher.

Stocks in Taiwan Y9999, +0.51%   were up, as were shares of Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, +0.67%   despite research firm Amareos saying the company’s 2½-year bull run is over, with its shares down 15% from late January’s record high.

Singapore’s stocks STI, +0.03%   started lower, as did Australia’s XJO, -0.38% . Malaysian stocks FBMKLCI, +0.61%   were higher as they looked to build on Thursday’s rebound from a record-worst day Wednesday. Steelmaker Posco 005490, +1.18%   helped buoy Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.75%  , while New Zealand’s NSX-50 NZ50GR, -0.14%   was hurt by a2 Milk’s ATM, -4.42%   6% midday skid.