Asian stocks mixed in quiet trade, Japan buoyed by lower yen

AP News
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Posted: Nov 23, 2016 10:51 PM
Asian stocks mixed in quiet trade, Japan buoyed by lower yen

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Asian markets were mixed Thursday in quiet trade amid the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., with Japan's bourse buoyed by a lower yen.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei rose 1 percent to 18,338.35 while Shanghai Composite Index was up 3,248.11. Seoul's fell 0.5 percent to 1,977.64 while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 eased 0.1 percent to 5,480.20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent to 22,578.18. Benchmarks in New Zealand rose but Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia retreated.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 indexes again set records Wednesday in pre-holiday trading. Machinery and equipment makers climbed but technology companies fell. The Dow rose 0.3 percent to 19,083.18 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up 0.1 percent to 2,204.72. The Nasdaq composite shed 0.1 percent to 5,380.68. U.S. markets will be closed Thursday and will close early on Friday.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Volumes have been poor through U.S. equity markets and that's hardly a surprise given the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday but the juggernaut that is the bull market continues, albeit slowly," Chris Weston of IG said in a report. He said the Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks, where the real momentum is, gained for the 14th day in a row. Weston said the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to go ahead with an interest rate hike in December, especially after the release of a slew of strong economic data.

CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 112.83 yen from Wednesday's 112.60 yen while the euro eased further to $1.0530 from $1.0549.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 5 cents to $48.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slipped 7 cents on Wednesday to close at $47.96. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was flat at $48.95 in London. The contract lost 17 cents in the previous session.