Asian Stock Markets Mixed on Final Trading Day of 2016

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -
A currency trader stands near a screen showing the foreign exchange rates with the South Korean won at a foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Asian stock markets were mixed Friday with little economic news to move the markets on the final trading day of 2016.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.2 percent to 19,114.37 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.1 percent to 22,029.80. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was flat at 3,096.81. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.6 percent to 5,665.80. Markets in Southeast Asia were higher. South Korean markets were closed for a holiday.

“Wall Street can be seen repositioning toward [2017] and that could be the case for Asia as well, amid moderate movements in major markets,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore. “Pressure may nevertheless set in for markets that have underperformed lately in Asia.”

Wall Street closed with slight losses on Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.90 points, or 0.1 percent, to 19,819.78. Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 0.66 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,249.26 The Nasdaq composite lost 6.47 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,432.09.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 21 cents to $53.98 per barrel in New York. The contract fell 29 cents to close at $53.77 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 27 cents to $57.12 a barrel in London.

The dollar strengthened to 116.81 yen from 116.37 yen. The euro fell to $1.0525 from $1.0556.