Asian shares mixed, after US stock markets regain stability

SEOUL: Share prices were mixed in Asia on Thursday, with Japan and Australia leading gains after U.S. indexes stabilized overnight.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.2 percent to 22,439.19 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 percent to 5,977.80. Most other regional benchmarks fell. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flat at 28,218.64 and the Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.5 percent to 3,276.66. South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,464.14. Stocks in Southeast Asia were mixed.

WALL STREET: On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed mixed. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was flat at 2,629.27, shedding just 30 points. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.2 percent to 24,140.91, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 0.2 percent, to 6,776.38. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks lost 0.5 percent to 1,508.88.

GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES: Market reaction was muted to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ending decades of unwavering U.S. neutrality on the issue. In other global developments, the British and Irish prime ministers spoke, seeking to overcome a logjam in Brexit talks, but there was no sign of an imminent breakthrough.

U.S. JOBS: A report from payroll processor ADP showed private employers added 190,000 jobs last month, slightly better than expected. The report comes two days before a government jobs report, among the last key economic indicators before the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude bounced back slightly from heavy losses overnight. It rose 18 cents to $56.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract sank $1.66 to settle at $55.96 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 24 cents to $61.46 per barrel. It lost $1.64 to $61.22 a barrel on Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.44 Japanese yen from 112.27 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.1804 from $1.1796.

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