July 17, 2024

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Asian Shares Mostly Higher In Thin Holiday Trade

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Asian stocks ended mixed in thin trade on Tuesday, with some markets including Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia closed for holidays.

The dollar wobbled as softer-than-expected reading on the PCE price index- the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, bolstered bets that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in 2024.

Lower Treasury yields helped gold prices tick higher in light trade, while oil prices were little changed after Israel said it was “intensifying the fighting” against Hamas in Gaza.

China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 0.68 percent to 2,898.88 as economic jitters persisted.

Semiconductor shares declined, more than offsetting gains in the gaming sector after several companies announced share buyback plans.

Japanese shares eked out modest gains as the yen steadied near its recent five-month peak on expectations that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) could soon mark an end to its ultra-easy policy.

On Monday, Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda said the likelihood of achieving the central bank’s 2 percent inflation target was “gradually rising” and it would consider changing policy if prospects of sustainably achieving the price stability target rise “sufficiently”.

The Nikkei average edged up 0.16 percent to 33,305.85 while the broader Topix index settled marginally higher at 2,338.86, led by shippers and chip-related stocks.

South Korea’s KOSPI average inched up 0.12 percent to 2,602.59 after choppy trading. Bio stocks gained ground, with Celltrion rising 1.8 percent. Defense stocks led losses, with Hanwha Aerospace and LIG Nex1 both tumbling around 4 percent.

India’s Sensex was up 0.4 percent, led by metal and energy stocks.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday in light trading as investors headed into the Christmas holiday weekend.

The Dow slipped 0.1 percent while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both rose about 0.2 percent as tamer-than-expected consumer price growth data bolstered bets for interest rate cuts early next year.

Separate data revealed…



2023-12-26 03:20:03

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