Asia Markets: Asian markets struggle in holiday-driven trade; Nikkei recovers

Asian stock markets logged a mixed session on Thursday, struggling for direction in thin action ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, +0.65%

  finished up 0.6%, but banks were under pressure, with Mitsubishi UFJ

8306, -1.43%

down 1.4% and Sumitomo Mitsui

8316, -0.22%

  eased 0.2%. On the positive side, beer maker Sapporo Holdings

2501, +7.01%

  surged 7% .

Hong Kong stocks trimmed an early solid lead, with losses for Chinese wireless firms. The Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.18%

 closed up 0.2%, with China Mobile

0941, -0.79%

  and Unicom

0762, -0.35%

  both posting modest drops. Energy shares were again lower, while Tencent

0700, +1.86%

  gained over 1%.

The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.23%

  closed down 0.2%, and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite

399106, -0.04%

 lost 0.6%.

Malaysia’s benchmark index

FBMKLCI, -0.05%

  finished flat as budget airline AirAsia X

AAX, -4.17%

   tumbled 4%after posting its biggest quarterly earnings loss in three years. South Korea’s Kospi

SEU, -0.32%

 eased 0.3%, while Taiwan’s benchmark

Y9999, -0.28%

  lost 0.3% and Singapore

STI, +0.24%

  ended flat.

Australia’s ASX 200

XJO, +0.86%

  ended little changed after hitting its worst levels since February 2017 on Wednesday. New Zealand’s benchmark

NZ50GR, +0.35%

  closed up 0.4%.

— Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report

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