Asian stocks mixed after Wall St rebounds from uncertainty


BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street rebounded, shrugging off uncertainty about a possible new attempt to impeach President Donald Trump over last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Tokyo, Australia and South Korea advanced while Shanghai and Hong Kong declined.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P; 500 index gained less than 0.1%, recovering from the previous day’s decline.

Analysts suggested investors were more focused on President-elect Joe Biden’s economic stimulus plans after he takes office next week than on the aftermath of last week’s turmoil.

Democrats in Congress are discussing possibly impeaching Trump for encouraging supporters who attacked the Capitol, but the president has taken few official actions since then.

“Hopes are pinned on the incoming Biden administration, leveraging Democrat Senate majority, to emphatically tackle COVID,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6% to 3,583.95 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 1.1% to 28,462.78. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.2% to 28,215.71.

The Kospi in Seoul added 0.6% to 3,141.52 and the S&P-ASX; 200 in Sydney was up 0.1% at 6,686.60.

India’s Sensex opened down less than 0.1% at 49,479.37. New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets advanced.

Investor hopes have been boosted by the rollout of coronavirus vaccines. Markets have risen despite a spike in case numbers in the United States and some other countries.

In the United States, those hopes have been encouraged by the shift in control of the Senate from Republicans to Biden’s Democratic Party. That might reduce the likelihood of political opposition if Biden introduces a more ambitious stimulus plan. He has said he will release details Thursday.

On Wall Street, the S&P; 500 rose to 3,801.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to 31,068.69. The Nasdaq composite added 0.3% to 13,072.43.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 57 cents to $53.78 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 96 cents on Tuesday to $53.21. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 68 cents to $57.26 per barrel in London. It gained 92 cents the previous session to $56.58.

The dollar declined to 103.70 yen from Tuesday’s 103.83. The euro rose to $1.2214 from $1.2201.

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