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  • Trade tensions  have eased across the broader Asian markets, but remain in the peripheral for Chinese equities.
  • Traders will be looking towards a busier economic calendar next week after this week saw thin releases.

Equities in the Asian market session are mixed for Friday, with Japanese equities on the optimistic  side, while Chinese equities remain cautious on continuing trade concerns with Shanghai’s CSI 300 index testing near 3,500.00

Japanese equities are seeing a slight bolstering from expectations of key movements to come from the Bank of Japan (BoJ), and markets are expecting the Japanese central bank to begin shifting into ETF purchases focusing on the Tokyo Topix index, drawing buying focus away from equities on the Nikkei 225 major bourse. The BoJ is slowly becoming the single largest stockholder in Japanese equities, with the bank’s hyper-easy monetary policy resulting in the BoJ holding an estimated 4% of the Nikkei index, and expectations of a move into the Topix is seeing a bump in the Tokyo equity measure.

Chinese equities continue to muddle on the US-China trade war that keeps simmering on the backburner. News of a coming expansion in infrastructure spending from the Chinese government saw major indexes catch a quick ride higher this week, but trade fears remain the key driver of localized market sentiment for Chinese traders.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 leading index is up 0.40% for the day, with the Tokyo Topix index up 0.45%; Australia is seeing a bullish day with the ASX 200 in the green for 0.90%, and the MSCI broad Asia-Pacific excluding Japan index is flat but leaning into the green by 0.10%; Chinese equities are the only drag on Friday’s early trading, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down -0.45% and Shanghai’s CSI 300 stepping back -0.40%.

Nikkei 225 levels to watch

Japan’s leading equity index has seen mild lift through the week, rising from the early Monday  bottom of 22,340.00 but running into growing resistance from the 22,700.00 region. Last week saw the index peak at 22,950.00, just shy of the 23,000 major technical level, and bulls will be hoping to ride a rising trendline from early July’s major swing low at 21,470.00.