People watch an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Tokyo. Asian shares were mixed Wednesday, as some markets were cheered by bullish sentiments on Wall Street despite concerns about an ongoing trade dispute with China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Asian shares mixed after S&P 500 touches all-time high

August 21, 2018 - 10:37 pm

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Wednesday, as some markets were cheered by bullish sentiments on Wall Street despite concerns about U.S. trade disputes with China.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.5 percent in morning trading to 22,321.14. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.4 percent to 6,256.60. South Korea's Kospi was up 0.4 percent at 2,277.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.5 percent to 27,885.97, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6 percent to 2,718.71, erasing some of the gains from the day before. Many markets in Southeast Asia were closed for holidays.

TRADE TENSIONS: Stocks have been buffeted by concerns about mounting trade tensions in recent months between the U.S. and China, set off by President Donald Trump's tariff policies. Signs of potential progress have helped stocks rally in recent weeks. The latest development to cloud the horizon was Trump's comments to a rally overnight that "We're going to put a 25 percent tax on every car that comes from the European Union into the United States."

QUOTABLE: "The trade tensions will slow the revival of global economies if they intensify and extend in scope. This would not just harm the two countries but also affect trade dependent Asian countries, especially large exporters of 'intermediate goods' to China, where the goods are assembled into finished products for shipment to the U.S., such as Taiwan and South Korea," Moody's Investor's Service said in a report.

BULL MARKET: The S&P 500 index briefly traded at an all-time high Tuesday just as the U.S. stock market's bull run came closer to becoming the longest on record. The current bull market, which began in 2009, is on track to become the longest in history on Wednesday, surpassing the bull run of the 1990s.

WALL STREET: The S&P 500 rose 5.91 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,862.96. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 63.60 points, or 0.2 percent, to 25,822.29. The Nasdaq composite added 38.17 points, or 0.5 percent, to 7,859.17. The Russell 2000 picked up 19.35 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,718.05. Its last all-time high was set June 20.

ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude rose 30 cents to $66.14 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 19 cents to $72.82 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.39 yen from 110.25 yen late Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1576 from $1.1572.


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