Asian stocks mostly up after Wall St records

ASIAN markets were mixed Tuesday after US shares tapped fresh records for a fourth straight session, while a weaker yen helped Japan’s Nikkei extend its recent rally to hit a seven-year high.

Tokyo rose 2.05 percent, or 343.58 points to 17,124.11 — its best finish since October 2007 — while Seoul added 0.24 percent, or 4.77 points, to 1,936.00 and Hong Kong gained 0.30 percent in late trade.

However, Sydney drifted 0.12 percent, or 6.9 points, to 5,517.1 and Shanghai ended 0.16 percent, or 4.00 points, off at 2,469.67.

Wall Street continued its impressive run Monday, adding to Friday’s gains after data showed jobs creation was healthy in October and the unemployment rate hit a six-year low.

The figures were the latest indicating the world’s top economy is on the path to recovery, with investors now keen to find out when the Federal Reserve plans to increase interest rates.

The Dow rose 0.23 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.31 percent, both hitting records for a fourth successive session, while the Nasdaq was up 0.41 percent.

In Tokyo the Nikkei resumed its uptrend as the yen dipped against the dollar, with analysts forecasting the index will march on through the rest of the year after the Bank of Japan’s stimulus injection last month.

The dollar was at 115.40 yen, compared with 114.83 yen in New York and sharply up from 114.16 yen in Tokyo earlier Monday.

The euro bought $1.2417 compared with $1.2420, while it was also at 143.33 yen against 142.62 yen.

Also proving support to Tokyo stocks is Japan’s $1.26-trillion public pension fund — the world’s biggest — which said last month it would double the amount of equities in its investment portfolio, as it seeks higher returns to cope with a rapidly ageing population.

Daiwa Securities senior strategist Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi told Dow Jones Newswires he expects the Nikkei will climb to the 18,000 mark from its present level around 16,900.

On oil markets US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery fell 34 cents to $77.06 while Brent crude for December eased 30 cents to $82.04 in afternoon trade.

WTI tumbled $1.25 and Brent lost $1.05 on Monday after Kuwait said the 12-nation Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is unlikely to cut output when it meets in Vienna on November 27.

Gold was at $1,152.20 an ounce, compared with $1,171.30 late Monday.

In other markets:

– Taipei edged down 0.18 percent, or 15.84 points, to 9,034.14.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co closed 0.37 percent lower at Tw$134.0 while Hon Hai Precision Industry fell 0.61 percent to Tw$97.7.

– Wellington rose 0.37 percent, or 20.45 points, to 5,490.79.

Meridian Energy was up 2.01 percent at NZ$1.775 and Warehouse Group gained 0.31 percent to NZ$3.20.(Agence France-Presse)

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