Asian markets lackluster after yet more records on Wall Street


Stocks were mixed in early trading in Asia on Friday after Wall Street posted more record highs, extending the market’s gains for the week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index

NIK, +0.06%

  edged 0.2% lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, +0.39%

  edged 0.4% higher. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +0.19%

  inched up 0.2% and the Shenzhen Composite

399106, +0.01%

  was about flat. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, +0.36%

  gained 0.4% while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, -0.12%

 , Singapore

STI, +0.09%

 , Malaysia

FBMKLCI, -0.16%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, -0.17%

  were little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, -0.20%

  slipped 0.3%.

Among individual stocks, oil producer Inpex

1605, +2.48%

  and e-commerce company Rakuten

4755, +2.78%

  gained in Tokyo trading, while robotics maker Fanuc

6954, -2.62%

  and Sony

6758, -1.56%

  fell. In Hong Kong, Wharf Real Estate

1997, +2.91%

  and China Mobile

941, +2.64%

  rose, while Apple

AAPL, +0.10%

  component maker Sunny Optical

2382, -2.22%

  declined. Chip maker SK Hynix

000660, +1.28%

  advanced in South Korea, while Virgin Australia

VAH, +0.00%

  sank in Sydney trading.

Technology companies led stocks higher on Wall Street Thursday, extending the market’s gains for the week and pushing the major indexes to more record highs. Reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade deal with China was finished and ready for signing after the holidays also spurred buying.

“Indeed, agreement of the ‘Phase 1’ deal between the U.S. and China has removed quite a lot of uncertainties in the outlook for 2020, and with the global growth revival trade is looking better and better by the day, equity investors are reveling in the holiday cheer,” Stephen Innes of AxiTrader said in a commentary.

The broad gains on Wall Street erased the S&P 500’s slight losses from a day earlier. The benchmark index has notched gains six out of the past seven days.

A batch of encouraging earnings reports from several big companies helped keep investors in a buying mood. Rite Aid

RAD, +42.31%

 , Conagra Brands

CAG, +15.87%

  and Micron Technology

MU, +2.81%

 rose after posting quarterly results that exceeded analysts’ forecasts.

Stock indexes were little changed for much of the day. Stocks, bonds, gold and a measure of fear among investors on Wall Street made only modest moves in the first day of trading after President Donald Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives.

“We’ve kind of known how this was going to play out for months,” said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments. “That just means that everybody has had an opinion, and whatever opinion that is it’s been priced into the market.”

The S&P 500

SPX, +0.45%

  rose 14.23 points, or 0.4%, to 3,205.37. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.49%

  gained 137.68 points, or 0.5%, to 28,376.96, a record. The Nasdaq composite

COMP, +0.67%

  climbed 0.7% to 8,887.22, a record.

The major stock indexes climbed to record highs late last week as investors welcomed news that the U.S. and China had taken steps to de-escalate their trade conflict. Stocks have mostly continued their record-breaking run this week, shrugging off the House’s impeachment of President Trump.

Trump became just the third U.S. president to be impeached after the House voted Wednesday on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress in an investigation.

The President had warned months ago that his impeachment would roil markets, but traders say it has virtually no impact. That’s mostly because they see it as extremely unlikely that he or his market-friendly policies will leave office before the end of his term.

Trump, who has often reveled on Twitter when stock prices are rising, warned in October that “The Impeachment Hoax is hurting our Stock Market.”

A gauge measuring how worried traders are about upcoming swings for the S&P 500 rose only 0.6%.

A report by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said that manufacturing activity was nearly flat in the region last month. The pace of sales of previously occupied homes also weakened last month, as more Americans get priced out of the rising housing market.

Benchmark crude oil

CLF20, +0.61%

  lost 9 cents to $61.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil

BRNG20, +0.12%

 , the international standard, gained 2 cents to $66.56 a barrel.

The dollar

USDJPY, -0.03%

  was almost unchanged at 109.36 Japanese yen from 109.35 yen on Thursday.

Source : MTV