Sat, 27 Feb 2021

Asian stock markets struggle Friday, U.S. dollar gains

Lola Evans
15 Jan 2021, 16:56 GMT+10

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks were mixed on Friday despite U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announcing a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to boost the American economy in the wake of the pandemic.

However, most indices reversed course after worries set in about the cost and the resultant debt it will create.

"At the moment, the market continues to push higher as there's more stimulus, lower rates for longer and there is no alternative ... so it's hard to get too bearish," Henry Jennings, senior analyst at Marcus Today financial newsletter told Reuters Thomson earlier Friday.

In Australia, the All Ordinaries was flat, rising just 4.10 points or 0.06 percent to 6,986.80.

Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 179.08 points or 0.62 percent to 28,519.18,

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 77.00 points or 0.27 percent to 28,573.86.

China's Shanghai Composite closed flat, edging up 0.47 of a point or 0.01 percent to 3,566.38.

The U.S. dollar gained a little ground on news of the stimulus, ground lost overnight after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks that interest rates would not rise in the foreseeable future.

The euro weakened to 1.2140. The British pound dipped to 1.3672. The Japanese yen was little changed at 103.79. The Swiss franc weakened to 0.8890.

The Canadian dollar slipped to 1.2658. The Australian dollar weakened to 0.7756. The New Zealand dollar fell to 0.7196.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones finished with a 68.95 points or 0.22 percent loss at 30,991.52.

The Nasdaq Composite lost 16.31 points or 0.12 percent to 12,112.64.

The Standard and Poor's 500 slid 14.30 points or 0.38 percent to 3,795.54.

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