TOKYO (AP) — Shares were meandering in sluggish trading in Asia on Thursday as investors awaited the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. Japan's benchmark rose after the dollar slipped against the yen.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent to 19,027.09 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,692.70. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.5 percent to 22,986.08 and South Korea's Kospi was flat at 2,070.33. The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1 percent lower to 3,110.49. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.
WALL STREET: After a torrid post-election rally, markets are listless ahead of Friday's inauguration. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday, and investors are waiting to see how much of his campaign-trail rhetoric will become government policy. The Standard & Poor's 500 has moved by less than 0.4 percent, up or down, for nine straight days. It gained 4 points, or 0.2 percent, on Wednesday to 2,271.89. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 22.05 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,804.72. The Nasdaq composite index added 16.93, or 0.3 percent, to 5,555.65.
THE QUOTE: "While the inauguration is dominating headlines, simmering on the back burner is the overriding theme of U.S. protectionism, expressly directed at China. With so many prominent trade hawks joining the Trump administration, it all points to a massive shift in U.S. trade policy. That does not paint a rosy picture for regional ... exporters, nor countries like Australia, which play such a vital role in the global supply chain," said Stephen Innes, a senior trader at OANDA.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose against many of its rivals after sinking sharply against the British pound and other currencies earlier in the week. The dollar rose to 114.52 yen from 112.66 late Tuesday. The British pound fell to $1.2285 from $1.2396, and the euro fell to $1.0641 from $1.0709.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 43 cents to $51.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.40 to settle at $51.08 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 47 cents to $54.39 a barrel.
AP Business writers Stan Choe and Marley Jay contributed to this report.