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Asian Markets Mostly Higher Following Wall Street Record.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific mostly rose on Thursday after the S&P 500 nudged higher to a record closing high overnight.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains among the region’s major markets, rising 1.16% to close at 29,008.07.

Shares in Australia closed higher as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.02% to 6,998.80.

Asian Markets
ASX index one year performance chart

 

Mainland Chinese markets nudged higher on the day. The Shanghai composite rose fractionally to 3,482.55 while the Shenzhen component advanced slightly to 13,989.94.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped less than 0.1% to close at 29,708.98 while the Topix index finished its trading day 0.79% lower at 1,951.86. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.19% higher at 3,143.26.

Nikkei 225 Index one year Performance chart

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.46%.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.15% to a new closing high of 4,079.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 16.02 points higher to finish its trading day at 33,446.26 while the Nasdaq Composite closed about 0.1% lower at 13,688.84.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed members felt the economy was still far short of the target and were in no rush to scale back their $120 billion a month of bond buying.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at an IMF event later on Thursday and is likely to reiterate the dovish outlook.

“This discussion is consistent with our view that it will be later this year before the Fed starts talking about tapering, with actual changes to the purchase pace not occurring until Q1 2022. Fed officials generally viewed the recent rise in longer-term Treasury yields as reflecting an improving outlook and some firming of inflation expectations, and not a risk to the outlook.” Analysts, JPMorgan.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.3 following its decline earlier in the week from above 92.8

The Japanese yen traded at 109.47 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.5 against the greenback seen early this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7627, having seen an earlier low of $0.76.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.32% to $62.96 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also dipped 0.52% to $59.46 per barrel.