Asian shares mixed on weak China data, worries over pandemic

FILE -In this June 16, 2020 file photo, a sign for a Wall Street building is shown in New York.  Stocks are opening mostly lower on Wall Street Thursday, Aug. 13, a day after the S&P 500 closed just below its pre-pandemic record high. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE -In this June 16, 2020 file photo, a sign for a Wall Street building is shown in New York. Stocks are opening mostly lower on Wall Street Thursday, Aug. 13, a day after the S&P 500 closed just below its pre-pandemic record high. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TOKYO – Asian shares were mixed on Friday as investors studied fresh data out of China showing that its recovery remains subdued.

Shares rose in Japan and Australia, but fell in Hong Kong, South Korea and Shanghai.

China said Friday that its factory output rose 4.8% from a year earlier in July, on a par with June’s increase. Retail sales fell 1.1%, as consumers remain cautious.

Widespread worries persist about a second, or third, surge in coronavirus cases in many places. Another afternoon fade for stocks left most benchmarks on Wall Street lower.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.1% in morning trading to 23,275.27. South Korea's Kospi slipped 1.4% to 2,403.20. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7% to 6,131.50. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped nearly 0.2% to 25,191.68, while the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.3% to 3,309.51.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China are also on investors' minds as so much of Asian regional growth depends on exports to those giant economies.

The two sides are due to hold talks online later Friday on a trade deal reached in January that brought a truce in their bruising tariff war.

The data on July retail sales, industrial production and investment painted a mixed picture of some recovery amid the uncertainty.