Asian shares slipped off record highs on Friday as investors took profits after a recent rally that was driven by hopes of U.S. economic stimulus by newly inaugurated President Joe Biden. Sentiment was also hit by worries of new coronavirus restrictions in China which reported 103 COVID-19 cases on Friday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan extended losses in afternoon trading to be last off 0.6% at 720.17 points following three straight sessions of gains.
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Hong Kong stocks ended lower, snapping a five-day winning streak, as investors locked in profits following sharp gains.