The Business Times

Asian markets dip despite Wall Street record

Published Tue, Dec 23, 2014 · 05:36 AM
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[HONG KONG] Asian markets dipped on Tuesday in thin trade despite a positive lead from Wall Street where indices reached fresh records ahead of the release of key US economic data.

Sydney fell 0.79 per cent, Shanghai dropped 0.73 per cent, and Seoul slipped 0.11 per cent in morning trade. Hong Kong rose 0.15 per cent while Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.

The slide in Asia came after investors in the United States remained buoyed by a Federal Reserve meeting last week and hoped for more good news from a heavy day of economic data releases Tuesday.

Last Wednesday, the Fed kept interest rates low and left in place expectations that it may wait until mid-2015 before raising them.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and broad-based S&P 500 hit new highs.

The Dow jumped 154.64 (0.87 per cent) to 17,959.44, a little less than a point above the previous record.

The S&P 500 advanced 7.89 points (0.38 per cent) to 2,078.54, about three points above the previous high December 5.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also rose, rising 0.34 per cent.

"Money is flowing to the US right now because it's definitely in the healthiest position," Aaron Jett, vice president of global equity research at Bel Air Investment Advisors told Dow Jones Newswires.

Investors are looking to the release on Tuesday of US economic reports, including the third estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product and durable goods orders for November.

Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expect the agency to say the US economy grew at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.3 per cent in the July-September quarter, up from its previous estimate of 3.9 per cent.

Overall trading is expected to be thin this week, with many investors away for Christmas and New Year.

"We are seeing a shortage of liquidity for trading purposes," said Hao Hong, managing director of research at Bank of Communications International.

The US dollar was at 120.13 yen in late-morning Singapore trade, up slightly from 120.07 yen in New York on Monday.

The euro bought US$1.2227 and 146.89 yen, against US$1.2226 and 146.80 yen in US trade.

On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February delivery gained 51 cents to US$55.77 while Brent crude for February was up 29 cents to US$60.40 in mid-morning trade.

Gold was at US$1,177.66 an ounce at 0410 GMT, compared to US$1,198.02 late Monday.


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