Asian shares slightly higher, though Japan is exception

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were slightly higher Friday following a record high close on Wall Street, except for Japan, where a pause in the dollar’s strengthening dampened optimism about exporters.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 inched down, less than 0.1 percent, to finish at 20,356.28, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2 percent to 5,681.60. South Korea’s Kospi stood at 2,394.47, up 0.9 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.4 percent to 27,516.65, and the Shanghai Composite added 0.3 percent to 3,348.94.

THE FED: Trading in Asia was muted overall as market players are weighing an anticipated rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve in December.

THE QUOTE: “Following the Fed’s somewhat surprisingly hawkish stance last week with inflation forecast and dot-plot being kept unchanged, expectation on a December rate hike has been gradually building,” says Zhu Huani of the Singapore Treasury Division at Mizuho Bank.

WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.02 points, or 0.1 percent, to a record high of 2,510.06 overnight. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 40.49 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,381.20. The Nasdaq composite inched up 0.19 points to 6,453.45. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks continued to set new highs as it advanced 3.97 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,488.79.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slid 16 cents to $51.40 a barrel. It fell 58 cents to $51.56 a barrel in New York Thursday. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, fell 13 cents to $57.03 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar dipped to 112.63 yen from 112.90 yen late Thursday in Asia. The euro rose to $1.1795 from $1.1735.


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