Asian Equities Mixed after S&P 500’s record close

Asian equity markets were mixed on the final trading day of the week as profit-taking on recent gains overshadowed another record close for the S&P 500 overnight.

News that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed its global growth forecasts again on Thursday also put a lid on gains. The IMF cut its forecast down to 3.4 percent this year from April’s forecast for 3.7 percent due to geopolitical risks over Ukraine and Iraq, as well as lowered expectations for key emerging markets.

“The main threat to risk sentiment in Asia today is news that Portugal’s Espirito Santo Financial Group sought protection from creditors. While this is not a major threat to Europe’s financial sector, it could be used as an excuse to take some profits in the near term,” said Stan Shamum, market strategist at IG in a note.

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