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Asia-Pacific markets edge up as investors watch tech shares following Wall Street losses

Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded higher in Friday morning trade, with technology shares watched after their counterparts stateside saw losses overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.16% while the Topix index gained 0.25%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.4%.

Shares in Australia also edged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.37%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.27% higher.

Tech shares mixed

Shares of technology firms in Asia-Pacific trade mixed Friday morning. In Japan, shares of conglomerate Softbank Group slipped 1.13% while Sharp shed 0.45%. Over in South Korea, industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics’ stock gained 0.34% while Kakao advanced 0.54%.

The regional moves in tech stocks came amid renewed pressure seen in stocks of their counterparts on Wall Street. Overnight stateside, the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.3% to close at 10,910.28.The tech-heavy benchmark briefly dipped back into correction territory, down 10% from its all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a four-day winning streak as it slipped 130.40 points, or 0.5%, to end its trading day at 27,901.98. The S&P 500 dropped 0.8%, or 28.48 points, to 3,357.01.

Coronavirus developments

Meanwhile, developments on the coronavirus pandemic could also weigh on investor sentiment. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Europe on Thursday warned of a “very serious situation” unfolding in Europe.

“Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March,” said WHO’s Hans Klug in a press briefing on the situation in the region.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, sat at 92.874 after falling from levels above 93.3 earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.69 per dollar, having strengthened from levels above 105.5 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7314, in a trading week that has seen it swinging between levels below $0.729 and above $0.732.

Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.28% to $43.18 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.24% to $40.87 per barrel.

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