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November 22, 2018 @ 10:06 +03:00
Stocks in Asia traded mixed Thursday after a modest rebound in technology and energy shares underpinned gains in U.S. equities. The dollar slipped amid debate about the Federal Reserve pausing interest-rate hikes in coming months.
Equity benchmarks swung between gains and losses with volumes subdued after their U.S. counterparts closed higher in light pre-Thanksgiving trading. Japanese and Australian stocks climbed while Chinese and Korean shares fell. Trading volumes were below average in Asia given the American holiday later today and one in Japan Friday. Oil traded below $55 a barrel as an increase in American crude inventories added to the bearish sentiment with another tweet from President Donald Trump calling for even lower prices.
Investor sentiment remains fragile following the volatility that’s rocked markets since October, wiping out equity gains for the year. Traders are having to contend with the Trump Administration’s trade war, as well as the president’s calls for the Fed to back off from raising rates with corporate credit spreads at two-year highs. Japan’s Topix index gained 0.5 percent as of 1:27 p.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed. S&P 500 futures were flat. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.8 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent. The Japanese yen was steady at 112.99 per dollar. The offshore yuan traded at 6.9265 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was down 0.1 percent. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4 percent to $54.39 a barrel. It jumped 2.3 percent Wednesday, the largest gain in seven weeks.