(Sharecast News) - Markets in Asia finished in a mixed state on Friday, as Covid-19 concerns continued to dampen sentiment following a third session of losses on Wall Street overnight.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.41% at 23,410.63, as the yen strengthened 0.23% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 105.21.
Automation specialist Fanuc was down 1.16%, while among the benchmark's other major components, fashion firm Fast Retailing rose 4.27% and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group was 0.1% firmer.
The broader Topix index lost 0.86% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing at 1,617.69.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite managed gains of 0.13% to 3,336.36, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite was 0.39% weaker at 2,265.43.
South Korea's Kospi was off 0.83% at 2,341.53, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 0.94% to 24,386.79.
The blue-chip technology stocks were weaker in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics down 0.83%, while chipmaker SK Hynix added 2.07%.
In fresh data out of Korea, the country's unemployment rate jumped to 3.9% in September, rising from 3.2% in August and above consensus expectations for 3.7%.
"The consensus was on the optimistic side, especially when considering that a big payback was due in September, following the fortunate timing of the survey in August, which was conducted before the most recent social-distancing measures were imposed," said Pantheon Macroeconomics senior Asia economist Miguel Chanco.
"On our adjustment, the number of unemployed workers jumped by 120,000 month-on-month in September, erasing most of the 130,000 plunge in the previous month.
"Meanwhile, the size of the labour force rose more modestly, by 12,000 month-on-month, after August's 70,000 collapse."
Oil prices were lower as the region entered the weekend, with Brent crude last down 1.07% at $42.70 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate off 0.59% at $40.72.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was off 0.54% at 6,176.80, as telecoms provider Aussie Broadband more than doubled its AUD 1.00 issue price on debut, before closing at AUD 1.91.
Mining giant Rio Tinto was down 0.85% in Sydney trading, however, after it reported a 5% decline in third quarter iron ore shipments, and warned of a slowing rate of economic recovery.
"Recent high-frequency data suggests that the rate of recovery in growth is slowing in most economies, with pent-up demand dissipating, and the rise of renewed lockdowns threatening recovery," the company said in its statement.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was 0.43% weaker at 12,433.16, led lower by two of the country's biggest electricity generator-retailers.
Contact Energy was down 4.44%, and Meridian Energy lost 4.24% by the close in Wellington.
The down under dollars were mixed against the greenback, with the Aussie last 0.25% weaker at AUD 1.4131, while the Kiwi strengthened 0.03% to NZD 1.5153.
(Adds latest statement)LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Santander told UK customers that all of its banking services were back up and running late on Saturday after technical problems stopped cash withdrawals and online account access for much of the da...