Stock market today: Asian markets steady in holiday-thinned trading

Asian markets showed steady holiday-curtailed trading on Tuesday, with some markets in the region closed for holidays.

US futures and oil prices rose slightly.

Shanghai’s benchmark led to losses in Asia on strong selling in technology and computer chip-related stocks as worries about trade tensions with the U.S. and other Western countries resurfaced.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.8% to 2,894.72. In Shenzhen, where comparatively more high-tech companies are listed, the A-share index lost 1.3%.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell less than 0.1% to 33,244.50. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.1% to 2,601.67. Bangkok’s SET rose 0.2%. Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.7% and Mumbai’s Sensex gained 0.4%.

Markets in Australia and Hong Kong were closed.

Japan’s unemployment rate remained stable at 2.5% in November, according to government data released on Tuesday. The job-to-applicant ratio eased slightly and settled at 1.28, meaning that there were around 128 job offers for every 100 applicants.

On the other hand, Japan’s services producer price index, which measures the cost of goods and services that companies supply to other companies and government agencies, remained stable at 2.3% in November. This suggests a gradual pass-through of rising labor costs and the potential for sustained wage increases, supporting the Bank of Japan’s 2% inflation target.

Markets in the U.S. and Europe were closed Monday and some in Europe will remain closed for Boxing Day. On Friday, Wall Street completed its eighth straight successful week with a quiet end after reports that inflation fell even as the economy appeared to be stronger than expected.

Wall Street is closed on Monday for the Christmas holiday.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.2%, less than 1% below its record of 4,754.63 set almost two years ago. The Dow slipped less than 0.1% to 37,385.97 and the Nasdaq gained 0.2% to 14,992.97.

With its eight straight weekly gains, the S&P 500 is in the midst of its longest winning streak since 2017.

In other trading Tuesday, a barrel of U.S. crude oil rose 26 cents to $73.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 28 cents to $79.08 a barrel.

The US dollar fell to 142.23 Japanese yen from 142.33 yen. The euro rose from $1.1016 to $1.1024.


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