06:27 AM EDT, 05/19/2017 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets Friday were higher but mixed, as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo all moved higher, but other regional exchanges were choppy heading into the weekend.
In other news, credit-rating agency S&P lifted Indonesia's sovereign rating to BBB-, one notch out of the "junk" range.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 edged up 0.19% on overnight gains on Wall Street and a checked appreciation of the yen vs. the U.S. dollar. A weaker yen is regarded as a positive in export-oriented Japan.
In other news, government officials reported a record-high 97.6% of university graduates in Japan have jobs as of April 1, a sign of tight labor markets on the islands.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 36.90 to 19,590.76, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 140 to 76.
Leading the upside were insurer MS&AD (MSADY, 8725:Tokyo), up 5.1%; followed by troubled conglomerate Toshiba (TOSYY, 6502:Tokyo), up 3.3%; and then insurer Dai-Ichi (8750:Tokyo), up 3.1%.
On the downside were satellite TV service Sky Perfect (SKPJY, 9412:Tokyo), off 4.8% and then utility Oska Gas (OSGSF, 9532:Tokyo), off 3.9%.
The Nikkei 225 is up 2.49% YTD.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index edged up 0.15% on Wall Street cues and as inflows through the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect continued to bolster shares. Internet-media giant Tencent hit an all-time high.
The broad gauge Hang Seng rose 38.35 to 25,174.87, as gaining share outnumbered losers 28 to 19.
Leading the upside were Bank of China (2308:HK), up 2.1%; followed by Tencent (700:HK), up 1.9%; and then developer China Overseas Land (688:HK), up 1.4%.
On the downside were mass-transit operator MTR (66:HK), off 3.8%; and then utility conglomerate CLP Holdings (2:HK), off 1.4%.
The Hang Seng is up 14.43% YTD.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.02% to 3.090.63.
On the other exchanges, the S. Korean Kospi gained 0.07%; the Taiwan TWSE fell 0.22%; the Australian ASX 200 declined 0.19%; the Singapore Straits Times Index lost 0.15%; and the Thai Set rose 0.24%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.10%.
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