Asian stocks were mixed on Friday as U.S. dollar continues to weaken against the yen and markets await Chinese GDP data on Monday.
To be released by National Bureau of Statistics of China the year-on-year GDP is expected to grow by 7.6% compared to 7.8% earlier, and Chinese industrial production is expected to grow by 9.8% compared to 10% earlier.
The Nikkei 225 fell 0.03% in morning trading, the Hang Seng index rose by 1.02%, while the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.56%. Australia''s S&P/ASX 200 was 0.2% lower.
Australian large cap minining firms extended their gains oseen earlier in the week. Rio Tinto rose 1.3% and BHP Billiton gained 2.5% . The shares are up 4.4% and 3.5% respectively so far this week.
On Thursday U.S. stocks ended mixed to lower after Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and other big companies released quarterly earnings that fell short of market expectations.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.39%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.13%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.09%.
Goldman Sachs earlier released fourth-quarter results that revealed profits contracted 21% though the bank did meet and even beat many analysts'' expectations, while Citigroup reported net earnings that missed consensus forecasts.
Earnings from technology retailer Best Buy and railroad operator CSX also fell short of market expectations and helped push broader stock indices down as well.
Elsewhere, government data revealed earlier that the U.S. consumer price index rose by 0.3% in December, in line with forecasts after holding flat in November.
Core consumer prices, which are stripped of volatile food and energy costs, inched up 0.1% last month, also meeting estimates. Core consumer prices rose 0.2% in November.
The country''s year-on-year inflation rate expanded by 1.5%, still below the Fed''s 2.0% target.
Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index improved to 9.4 in January from 6.4 in December. Analysts had expected a reading of 8.6.
Indicators of future activity moderated, the report added, but they continued to indicate general optimism concerning economic growth over the next six months, which gave stocks some support.
Also on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending Jan. 11 declined by 2,000 to 326,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 328,000. Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to hold steady last week
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included McDonald''s, up 0.57%, Verizon, up 0.55%, and AT&T, up 0.46%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included UnitedHealth, down 2.76%, Goldman Sachs, down 2.18%, and Wal-Mart Stores, down 1.18%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.58%, France''s CAC 40 fell 0.30%, while Germany''s DAX 30 fell 0.17%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.07%.
Today, the U.S. is to wrap up the week with the closely watched preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. The U.S. is also to release data on building permits, housing starts and industrial produ
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