January 18th, 2017

Asian shares mixed after Trump offers scant policy details


By Eileen Ng, The Associated Press on January 11, 2017.

FILE - This July 16, 2013, file photo, shows a Wall Street street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange. The major U.S. stock indexes edged higher in early trading Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, as investors looked ahead to the start of corporate earnings reports later in the week. Energy stocks led the gainers as crude oil prices headed higher, while phone and real estate stocks lagged the most. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Asian shares were mixed Thursday following President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference. Trump offered scant details on policies, disappointing investors hoping for a clearer sense of his plans for trade and economic stimulus.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.9 per cent to 19,192.76. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.1 per cent to 22,916.85, and the Shanghai Composite was also down 0.1 per cent at 3,133.80. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 per cent to 5,784.40 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.3 per cent at 2,080.39. Shares in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.

WALL STREET: The Nasdaq hit a fifth record-high close in a row, gaining 11.83 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,563.65. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 98.75 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 19,954.28. The S&P 500 index added 6.42 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,275.32.

TRUMP NEWS: Trump’s first news conference in nearly six months was an anti-climax, with scant details on his plans for infrastructure spending and tax reforms. Trump attacked U.S. intelligence services and big pharmaceutical companies, instead of outlining his platform. His comment that the government should change bidding procedures for the pharmaceutical industry “because they’re getting away with murder,” drove health care stocks lower

THE QUOTE: “It is what he didn’t mention – fiscal stimulus – that worries market participants. The U.S. dollar rally was based on the assumption that Trump’s administration will push through a massive infrastructure building and fiscal stimulus package, which will lead to higher inflation in the future,” said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst with CMC Markets in Singapore. “The slump in the U.S. dollar index last night indicated that assumption is now unwinding because the president-elect never even mentioned that key word ‘stimulus’.”

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil dipped 8 cents to $52.17 a barrel. It rose $1.43, or 2.8 per cent, to close at $52.25 a barrel in New York on Wednesday. Brent crude, which is used to price oil sold internationally, fell 2 cents to $55.08.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 114.74 yen from 115.43 on Wednesday. The euro rose to $1.0603 from $1.0576.


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