Stocks in the Asia Pacific mostly traded higher on Friday. However, investors are closely monitoring the situation related to the coronavirus stimulus bill. Importantly, investors remained cautious after lawmakers in the U.S. seemed unable to reach a coronavirus stimulus bill.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.17% to 23,289.36. At the same time, the Topix index was near flat at 1,623.38.
Moreover, South Korea’s Kospi index dropped 1.23% to 2,407.49.
Importantly, mainland Chinese stocks saw gains on the day. The Shanghai Composite added 1.19% at 3,360.1 In the meantime, the Shenzhen Component index advanced 1.49% to 13,489.01. Also, the Shenzhen Composite added 1.25% to 2,244.17.
Notably, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was near flat in late-afternoon trade.
Australia’s ASX 200 gained 0.58% to 6,126.20. The heavily-weighted financials subindex added 0.23%. Interestingly, shares of major banks in the country were mostly up on Friday. However, shares of Commonwealth Bank fell 0.93%.
Moreover, major indexes in India, as well as Indonesia, increased while Singapore’s Straits Times Index dropped 0.34% in afternoon trade.
Stocks and U.S. lawmakers
A disagreement between the lawmakers from the Republican and Democratic parties complicated the situation. According to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she will not restart talks with Republicans regarding the coronavirus stimulus bill until they increase their aid offer by $1 trillion.
As a result, it will quite hard to reach an agreement. Leaders in Washington indicated that both sides have made no progress toward an agreement. Moreover, they do not know when meaningful negotiations will restart.
Furthermore, at the moment it is unclear when Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will discuss this topic with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Millions of Americans lost their jobs over the past several months. Both sides should work together to reach an agreement, as soon as possible.