Major US stock indexes close slightly lower; oil price slips
Asian stock markets were mixed Friday with little economic news to move the markets on the final trading day of 2016.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.4 percent to 19,067.74 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.8 percent to 21,970.92. China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.1 percent to 3,099.35. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.4 percent to 5,678.20. South Korean markets were closed for holiday.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Wall Street can be seen repositioning toward the New Year and that could be the case for Asia as well amid moderate movements in major markets,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore. “Pressure may nevertheless set in for markets that have underperformed lately in Asia.”
WALL STREET: Wall Street closed with slight losses on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.90 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,819.78. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 0.66 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,249.26 The Nasdaq composite lost 6.47 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,432.09.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 7 cents to $53.84 per barrel in New York. The contract fell 29 cents to close at $53.77 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 1 cent to $56.84 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 116.79 yen from 116.37 yen. The euro fell to $1.0525 from $1.0556.