Shares mixed with Asian markets closed for lunar new year

FAN Editor

Shares were higher in Japan and Thailand but fell in Australia and India, with most Asian markets closed Friday for the lunar new year holiday.

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KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.2 percent to 21,720.25 and the S&P ASX 200 in Australia slipped 0.1 percent to 5,904.00. India’s Sensex lost 0.3 percent to 34,200.09 while shares were higher in Thailand.

JAPAN CENTRAL BANK: As expected, the government proposed reappointing Haruhiko Kuroda as governor of the Bank of Japan. The decision underscores the government’s commitment to its strategy of using huge monetary stimulus to support growth and fend off deflation. The appointment requires approval by parliament, which is certain since the ruling Liberal Democrats hold a majority in both houses.

WALL STREET ADVANCE: Technology companies climbed Thursday as stocks rose for the fifth day in a row. After a brief dip late in the morning, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rallied to gain 1.2 percent to 2,731.20. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.2 percent, to 25,200.37. The Nasdaq composite was up 1.6 percent, to 7,256.43 and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 1 percent to 1,537.20.

CURRENCIES: The dollar sank to 105.78 yen from 106.12 yen, its lowest level in over a year, while the euro rose to $1.2541 from $1.2506.

ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “Dovish or not the market cares little about central bank policy these days, while looking for any and all opportunities to hammer the dollar mercilessly. With very little chance of intervention at these levels, the Japanese yen bulls should continue to have their way near-term,” Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary.

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U.S. INFLATION: The Labor Department said U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.4 percent in January, mainly due to a jump in energy prices. It was the biggest increase since November.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil gained 20 cents to $61.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 74 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $61.34 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 26 cents to $64.59 a barrel in London.


AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed. He can be reached at . His work can be found at .

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