Asian shares mixed as investors consider latest Fed minutes

People look at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Asian shares were mixed Wednesday, as the Tokyo benchmark jumped in the first trading of 2017, helped by a weak yen. Other indexes lost some gains from earlier this week. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Asian stock indexes mixed as investors assess latest Fed meeting minutes; Japan shares slip as yen strengthens against the dollar

HONG KONG — Asian stock indexes were mixed Thursday as investors assessed the latest Federal Reserve board's meeting minutes. Japanese shares slipped as the yen strengthened against the dollar.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent to 19,544.70 a day after hitting its highest level in 13 months as the yen's strength hurt shares of some exporters. South Korea's Kospi edged 0.1 percent lower to 2,043.16 but Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1 percent to 22,363.50 and the Shanghai Composite index in mainland China added 0.1 percent to 3,160.50. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.4 percent to 5,758.30. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines also advanced.

FED MINUTES: U.S. central bank officials think they may need to accelerate interest rate hikes if a faster-growing economy leads to lower than expected unemployment. For now they believe they can maintain stick to gradual increases, according to minutes of the Fed's December meeting. Officials also discussed the impact of Donald Trump's proposed economic stimulus program and attributed surging stock prices, rising bond rates and the stronger dollar following the election to investor enthusiasm about the president elect's plans.

QUOTEWORTHY: "The Fed, like everyone else in the market, have full focus on the execution of Trump's fiscal program and see upside risks to their forecasts if it comes off," said Chris Weston, chief strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne. "That is a sizeable 'if' because ... much needs to go right."

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.3 percent to 19,942.16. The S&P 500 jumped 0.6 percent to 2,270.75. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.9 percent to 5,477.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 116.50 yen from 116.64 yen. The euro weakened to $1.0520 from $1.0526.

ENERGY: Oil's rally fizzled out in Asian trading. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 14 cents to $53.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract picked up 93 cents, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $53.26 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 19 cents to $56.27 a barrel in London.

Related News

US tycoon's China scholarship project opens doors...

Sep 10, 2016

A new scholarship program intended to rival the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships and build...

China says it can't end North Korea nuke program...

Sep 12, 2016

China says the United States has inflamed the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and must carry the...

China's electric vehicle industry shaken by...

Sep 13, 2016

China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked...

Asian markets lower after Wall Street decline

Sep 15, 2016

Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday following Wall Street's decline in light trading...

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...

You may also like these

Asian stocks markets retreat after Wall Street...

Dec 23, 2016

Most Asian stock markets have declined in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday after Wall...

Global markets mixed after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Asian markets are mostly lower while Europe has gained in early trading ahead of the Christmas...

China pledges further cuts in excess steel, coal...

Jan 10, 2017

China's top economic planner has pledged to continue cutting steel and coal production, which have...

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...

'One China principle' not negotiable, China tells...

Jan 16, 2017

Responding to remarks by Donald Trump, China's Foreign Ministry says the country's "one-China...

Financial Markets

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@thefinancialcapi.com