Asian Shares Pare Gains To End Mixed

(RTTNews) - Asian stocks pared early gains to end on a mixed note on Friday as worries about an impending global recession offset investor optimism over U.S. stimulus and a pledge by G20 countries to inject $5 trillion into the global economy to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

China's Shanghai Composite index pared early gains to end 0.26 percent higher at 2,772.20 after data showed profits at China's industrial firms slumped in the first two months of the year to their lowest in at least a decade. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged up 0.56 percent to 23,484.28.

China's industrial profits declined sharply by 38.3 percent during January to February period from the same period last year as coronavirus epidemic weighed heavily on economic activity, data published by the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Japanese shares gained ground amid reports that the government is drawing up a fresh economic package worth $135 billion or more to aid people and businesses bearing the brunt of the global coronavirus outbreak.

The Nikkei average rallied 724.83 points, or 3.88 percent, to 19,389.43 after falling as much as 4.5 percent in the previous session. For the week, the index surged 17.1 percent, logging its biggest weekly gain ever.
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