Asia stock markets mostly higher, China at 7-year high

AP News
Posted: May 21, 2015 11:47 PM
Asia stock markets mostly higher, China at 7-year high

HONG KONG (AP) — Most Asian stock indexes rose Friday, with China's benchmark at its highest in seven years, after Wall Street eked out another record close.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1 percent lower to 20,172.15 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.5 percent to 2,134.11. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.2 percent to 27,863.25. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China jumped 1.9 percent to 4,616.32, the highest level since 2008. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped less than 0.1 percent to 5,659.90. Southeast Asian indexes were mixed.

JAPAN STIMULUS: The country's central bank meeting made no changes to its 80 trillion yen ($660 billion) annual stimulus program, as its policy board reaffirmed its assessment that Asia's second biggest economy was recovering moderately.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. stock indexes eked out another record close as energy companies gained on rising oil prices. The Standard & Poor's closed up 0.2 percent at 2,130.82 while the Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.34 point to 18,285.74. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent to 5,090.79.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 8 cents to $60.64 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.74 to close at $60.72 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, lost 14 cents to $66.40 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 120.97 yen from 121.05 yen in the previous trading session. The euro rose to $1.1127 from $1.1110.