Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday in subdued trading after U.S. markets were closed on the Thanksgiving holiday.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed early gains as the dollar weakened slightly against the yen and was nearly flat at 18,328.03. South Korea’s Kospi also stayed flat at 1,973.18. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.3 percent to 22,687.39, but the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 3,234.62. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,507.80. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian markets also advanced.
“With U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving last night and a number of key stocks sitting at resistance levels, the question for traders today will be whether buyers are prepared to act independently of a lead from U.S. markets,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a commentary.
European markets closed slightly higher Thursday in light trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent to 6,829.20 and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent to 4,542.56. Germany’s DAX also gained 0.3 percent to 10,689.26. U.S. markets were closed Thursday and will close early on Friday.
Analysts said oil prices will be reacting to whether the OPEC members reach an agreement on meaningful output cuts during their meeting next week. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 36 cents to $47.60 per barrel in electronic trading on New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed 7 cents lower at $47.96 on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 47 cents to $48.53 in London.
The dollar remained at a more than eight-year high against the Chinese yuan, which was trading at 6.9184 yuan per dollar. The dollar fell against the Japanese yen, to 113.34 yen from 113.69 yen, while the euro strengthened to $1.0576 from $1.0547.