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Asian markets mixed as market await next Fed leader

Trader Gerard Farco watches a television on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange showing the rate decision of the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. With a new Federal Reserve leader about to be announced, the Fed is keeping its key interest rate unchanged. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
November 01, 2017 - 9:05 PM

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday as investors were waiting for the announcement on the next Federal Reserve leader, shrugging off results of a Fed meeting that met their expectations. Some markets were pressured by investors locking in profit from recent gains.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 0.2 per cent to 22,458.30 while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 per cent to 2,551.94 as investors took a breather from the latest streak of winning. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index inched up 0.1 per cent to 28,620.16. Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.3 per cent to 3,384.15. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was flat at 5,939.40. Stocks in Singapore were lower but elsewhere in Southeast Asia, they were higher.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Market participants are waiting for the nomination of the next Fed chair to assess future monetary policy shifts," said Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore. "Current Fed governor Jerome Power is believed to be the most promising candidate, who will likely bring certainty and consistency to the rate hike path."

FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve kept its interest rates steady at their low levels as widely expected and upgraded their views on the U.S. economy saying that the world's largest economy is rising "at a solid rate," a term stronger than "moderate" rate used in September. The phrase strengthened the views that the Fed was due to hike interest rates in December. President Donald Trump is expected to name the successor to Fed Chair Janet Yellen later in the day.

WALL STREET: U.S. stock markets finished mixed on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.2 per cent to 2,579.36. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.3 per cent to 23,435.01. But the Nasdaq composite fell 0.2 per cent to 6,716.53. The small-cap Russell 2000 index lost 0.7 per cent to 1,492.78.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 2 cents to $54.32 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract settled at $54.30 per barrel on Wednesday, down 8 cents. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 9 cents to $60.58 per barrel in London. It fell 45 cents to $60.49 on Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 114.22 Japanese yen from 113.71 yen late Tuesday. The euro dipped to $1.1620 from $1.1651, and the British pound fell to $1.3249 from $1.3282.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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