Asian stocks mixed, US markets closed for Independence Day


BANGKOK (AP) – Shares were mixed on Monday in Asia in calm trading, with US markets due to be closed for the Independence Day celebration.

Tokyo and Hong Kong fell while most other regional markets advanced. US futures fell slightly after Wall Street closed a landmark week on Friday with stock indexes hitting record highs as investors hailed a report showing the domestic labor market was even stronger than expected last month .

Oil prices plummeted as the UAE opposed a plan by the OPEC oil cartel and allied producer countries to extend the global pact to cut oil production beyond April 2022 .

Benchmark US crude fell 11 cents to $ 75.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 7 cents on Friday to $ 75.16 a barrel. Brench crude, the international standard, fell 8 cents to $ 76.09 a barrel.

One of the group’s largest oil producers, the United Arab Emirates is looking to ramp up production – setting up a contest with OPEC ally and heavyweight Saudi Arabia, which has led a campaign to keep strict control over production.

The combined group of OPEC Plus members led by Saudi Arabia and non-members, foremost among them Russia, failed to reach an agreement on oil production on Friday. Negotiations on the dispute are expected to resume on Monday.

Concerns remain across Asia about the increase in coronavirus cases as outbreaks of new infections overtake vaccination efforts. In Thailand and Indonesia, local authorities have reported a record number of new cases.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.6% to 28,618.33 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.5% to 28,166.25. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 3,524.30 and the South Korean Kospi Index rose 0.4% to 3,294.08. In Australia, the S & P / ASX rose 0.1% to 7,316.30.

China announced this weekend that Chinese rideshare service Didi will be pulled from app stores nationwide in the latest move after its shares began trading in New York on June 30.

U.S.-listed Didi shares fell 5.3% on Friday after the Chinese internet watchdog said it launched an investigation into the company to protect national security and the public interest.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, its seventh consecutive gain and seventh consecutive all-time high. The benchmark index also recorded its second consecutive weekly gain. The Nasdaq also set a record, benefiting from a boost from tech stocks, which led the broad market rally. The only laggards were energy stocks and banks, which fell as Treasury yields headed lower.

A US government report says employers have hired 850,000 more workers than they cut last month, a healthier reading than the 700,000 economists expected and picking up pace after a few months of disappointing growth.

Yet unemployment remains well above the 3.5% rate that prevailed before the pandemic, and the economy remains at 6.8 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level. And while wages rose in June, the increase was smaller than expected, a good sign for investors worried about inflationary pressures.

Economists took the report as a sign that workers will return to work as more people are vaccinated and the pandemic subsides. Perhaps more importantly for markets, some have said the numbers likely mean the Federal Reserve can stay the course, keeping interest rates low for a while to support the economy.

The S&P 500 gained 32.40 points to 4,352.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 34,786.35. The Nasdaq composite added 0.8% to 14,639.33. The smaller Russell 2000 stocks have fallen behind. The index fell 1% to 2,305.76.

Treasury yields were flat Monday at 1.43%.

Low interest rates help drive up the prices of all kinds of stocks, but they are particularly powerful fuel for high-growth companies whose prices might otherwise seem expensive.

In currency trading, the dollar was at 111.12 Japanese yen, compared to 110.99 yen. The euro slipped to $ 1.1857 from $ 1.1863.


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