Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street ends little changed

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, file photo, the American flag flies above the Wall Street entrance to the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are opening modestly lower on Wall Street, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, as traders didn't find much to get excited about in the latest batch of earnings reports from U.S. companies. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Asian stocks are mixed after Wall Street ended little changed as China and other exchanges that closed for the Lunar New Year resumed trading

BEIJING — Asian stocks were mixed Friday after Wall Street ended little changed as exchanges that shut for the Lunar New Year resumed trading.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.6 percent to 3,138.99 while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.1 percent to 18,893.13. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.6 percent to 23,042.08. Seoul's Kospi was unchanged at 2,072.29 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent to 5,625.30. Manila and Singapore retreated, while New Zealand, Taiwan and Jakarta gained.

WALL STREET: Cautious investors focused on earnings reports from U.S. companies including Facebook and Merck. Ryder System, a truck leasing company, fell 8 percent after earnings fell short of expectations. Ralph Lauren plunged 12 percent after announcing its CEO of two years was leaving. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 6.03 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 19,884.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.30 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,280.85 and the Nasdaq composite fell 6.45 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,636.20.

TRUMP EFFECT: Some investors worry President Donald Trump's actions including last week's immigration ban, comments on trade and tough talk toward Mexico, Australia and Iran might hurt business confidence and the economy. After a post-election rally that pushed stocks to all-time highs and the Dow above the 20,000-point mark, investors have stepped back this week.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Worries over the nature of Trump's presidency have overshadowed the figures," said Alex Furber of CMC Markets in a report. "Trump has alarmed markets by pursuing a controversial, protectionist political agenda," said Furber. "In his latest performance piece, the new president rattled relations with Australia yesterday and fired strong words towards Iran."

US JOBS: Investors looked ahead to government data on hiring for January. Some of that uncertainty could come Friday with the government's jobs report for January. For this report, the first that will be at least partially under the tenure of President Trump, economists estimate employers created 175,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent, according to FactSet. However some recent data, including Wednesday's ADP private sector report, has given some traders hope for a jobs report over 200,000.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 16 cents to $53.71 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 34 cents on Thursday to close at $53.54. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 17 cents to $56.73 in London. It shed 24 cents the previous session to $56.56.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 112.65 from Thursday's 112.93. The euro edged up to $1.0760 from $1.0759.

You may also like these

Tesla's Autopilot system under scrutiny in fatal...

Sep 15, 2016

Tesla faces new scrutiny in China about its vehicle Autopilot system after state television...

China launches second space station, Tiangong 2

Sep 15, 2016

China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its...

Asian stocks rise after Wall Street gains

Dec 21, 2016

Asian stocks are higher after U.S. stocks rose to record levels despite attacks in Germany and...

McDonald's sells China business in deal worth up...

Jan 9, 2017

Fast-food giant McDonald's is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of...

Asian markets lower amid Brexit worries

Jan 17, 2017

Asian stock markets are mostly lower after Britain said Prime Minister Theresa May will call for a...

Sign up now!

The Financial Capital is your independent source for finance information and advice. We provide insights and offer advice from financial experts so you can make the best decisions.

Contact us: sales[at]thefinancialcapital.com