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Asia Markets: Asian stocks slip ahead of holiday weekend

Asian markets were broadly lower early Friday, tracking the overnight declines on Wall Street, as participants eased into the holiday season.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.94% declined 0.6%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.28% was down 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.20% was off 0.6%. Japan’s stock market was closed for a holiday.

“You’re coming closer to the Christmas holiday,” said Hue Lu, senior investment specialist at BNP Paribas Investment Partners. “[Traders] want to bring down the risk. They don’t want any surprises.”

Many key Asian markets will be closed Monday to observe Christmas holiday, while a few will also stay closed on Tuesday.

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