Asian stocks little-changed after Wall Street hits new highs
By JOE McDONALD
Oct. 17, 2017
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were little-changed Tuesday after Wall Street's major indexes rose to new highs as China prepared to open a key political meeting.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.1 percent at 3,374.66 while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 21,260.89. Hong Kong's Hang Seng held steady at 28,707.80 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was up 0.8 percent at 5,892.70. Seoul gained 0.2 percent to 2,484.52 and benchmarks in Singapore and New Zealand also gained. Taiwan and Indonesia declined.
WALL STREET: Stocks extended a record-setting run into a sixth week. Financial, technology and energy stocks rose while health care issues declined. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 0.2 percent to 2,557.64. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4 percent to 22,956.96. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.3 percent to 6,624.
ANALYST'S QUOTE: Dealers are digesting U.S. inflation data "while keeping an eye on geopolitical risk amidst the deluge of Fed chair speculative headlines," said Stephen Innes of OANDA in a report.. "Also, it's worth keeping an eye on the expanding laundry list of geopolitical flashpoints," he said, citing Korea, Iraq, ISIS and U.S.-Turkish tensions. "The Middle East looks like a powder keg waiting to explode."
CHINA PARTY MEETING: The ruling Communist Party opens a twice-a-decade congress on Wednesday to appoint President Xi Jinping to a second five-year term as leader. Investors are watching the party's personnel reshuffle for signs of possible policy directions. After spending his first term firming up his grip on power, analysts expect Xi to shift focus to economic policy, with an emphasis on tighter party control of state companies that dominate industries including banking, energy and telecoms.
FED WATCH: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday to discuss the possibility of a second term, a source familiar with the administration's Fed search told The Associated Press. Trump has said Yellen, whose term ends Feb. 3, is one of several candidates. Trump criticized Yellen during his campaign but since taking office has praised her. Trump met with Stanford University economist John Taylor last week. He interviewed former Fed board member Kevin Warsh and current Fed board member Jerome Powell last month. Trump has also said economics adviser Gary Cohn is being considered.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 9 cents to $51.78 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 42 cents on Monday to close at $51.87. Brent crude, used to price international oils, advanced 1 cent to $57.83 in London. It rose 65 cents the previous session to $57.82.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 112.07 yen from Monday's 112.18 yen. The euro retreated to $1.1783 from $1.1798.