Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street gains
Asian stock markets were mostly higher Tuesday after Wall Street gained as investors looked ahead to this week’s gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 3,292.30 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1 percent to 27,437.76. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.4 percent to 2,364.57 while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.1 percent to 19,379.75. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.2 percent to 5,738.70 and India’s Sensex gained just under 0.1 percent to 31,282.90. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore and Bangkok rose while Malaysia and the Philippines declined.
WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index steadied following losses. Companies are mostly finished reporting quarterly results and profits and revenue were stronger than expected. The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 2,428.37 after it and other indexes flipped between small gains and losses throughout the day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.1 percent to 21,703.75 and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1 percent to 6,213.13.
CENTRAL BANK WATCH: Investors looked ahead to this week’s annual gathering of central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank head Mario Draghi are both expected to speak at the event that begins Thursday. Stimulus from central banks has been one of the main reasons for the stock market’s surge since the Great Recession. But the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates and preparing to pare back the vast trove of bonds it bought following the 2008 financial crisis. Investors are wondering when the European Central Bank may follow suit.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Fed Chair Janet Yellen is likely to look past low inflation and Trump’s credibility crisis, and remain resolute in normalizing monetary policy,” DBS Group said in a report. “The Fed will be using Jackson Hole to set the stage to start unwinding its balance sheet in the coming months. ECB President Mario Draghi will probably be evasive about his central bank’s strategy to exit stimulus.”
KOREAS TENSIONS: U.S. and South Korean forces started annual joint military exercises on Monday. Tensions are higher than usual with North Korea, and Pyongyang in the past has responded to the drills with weapons tests and a string of belligerent rhetoric.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 17 cents to $47.70 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.13 on Monday to close at $47.53. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 16 cents in London to $51.82. It shed $1.06 the previous session to $51.66.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 109.21 yen from Monday’s 108.97. The euro declined to $1.1808 from $1.1815.