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Global stocks stable as investors gauge US tax plan impact

A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Asian markets were mixed on Thursday as investors tried to gauge the impact from the sweeping tax reform plan unveiled by President Donald Trump while geopolitical tensions surrounding North Korea kept risk sentiment in check. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
September 28, 2017 - 3:05 AM

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Global stock markets were mostly higher Thursday as investors tried to gauge the impact of the sweeping tax reform plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump, while geopolitical tensions surrounding North Korea kept risk sentiment in check.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was flat in early trading at 7,315.79 while France's CAC 40 added 0.2 per cent to 5,291.33. Germany's DAX advanced 0.3 per cent to 12,700.07. Futures augured a lukewarm start on Wall Street. S&P futures and Dow futures both fell 0.1 per cent.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5 per cent to 20,363.11 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 per cent to 5,670.40. In South Korea, the Kospi finished flat at 2,373.14. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.8 per cent to 27,421.60 and China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 per cent to 3,339.64. Stocks in Southeast Asia were mixed.

US POLITICS WATCH: Trump and congressional Republicans proposed a $5 trillion tax plan on Wednesday, calling it much-needed relief for the middle class and a boost for the economy. The proposal would deeply cut taxes for corporations from the current 35 per cent to 25 per cent and simplify the tax system, while nearly doubling the standard deduction used by most Americans. The plan was widely expected by investors but with negotiations ahead, the final picture of the tax plan is unclear.

THE QUOTE: "While the impact from the new framework on Asian markets remains debatable with repatriation of offshore earnings one to expect, investors will likely look to the improvement it may bring to U.S. companies and in turn stock market in the near term," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore.

CHIP DEAL: Asian chipmakers involved in Toshiba's chip unit sales gained ground after a consortium of companies from Japan, South Korea and the United States disclosed that it will purchase the struggling Japanese tech company's memory chip business. Shares of South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc., which is part of the consortium that also includes Bain Capital Private Equity and Apple, rose 1 per cent. Toshiba Corp.'s stock jumped 2.3 per cent.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 54 cents to $52.68 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 26 cents to close at $52.14 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 43 cents to $58.02 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.77 yen from 112.82 yen. The euro rose to $1.1768 from $1.1750.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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