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Asia Markets: Asia stocks mixed after day of inaction on Wall Street

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday after a mixed Wall Street close on listless trading.

Benchmarks in Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul rose. Shanghai and Hong Kong declined as investors watched for Chinese trade data.

Traders were hoping for a “good set of figures” from Beijing following unexpectedly strong March manufacturing and inflation data, said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report.

Major U.S. stock indexes closed unevenly Thursday after losses in health care stocks mostly offset gains in industrial companies and banks. Major European indexes closed mostly higher.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index NIK, +0.73% rose 0.7%, while the Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.29% fell 0.5%.

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