ASIA MARKETS: Asian Markets Shrug Off Senate's Approval Of Tax Bill

By Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Nikkei dips despite rising dollar; Kospi gains while Samsung extends skid

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Asia-Pacific stocks didn't react much to the U.S. Senate's passing of a sweeping tax-code revision, though the special counsel's probe of President Donald Trump's campaign loomed over market moves.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to federal investigators, "himself is not important for markets," ANZ said in a morning note to clients. "But the fact that he is now cooperating with the investigation and could implicate key people further up the chain is."

S&P 500 futures were recently up 0.6%. The U.S. index finished down 0.2% on Friday.

Nearly all Asia-Pacific indexes were within 0.2% of Friday's closes on Monday, but the U.S. dollar jumped. The WSJ Dollar Index rose 0.3%, with the currency up a half yen versus late-Friday New York levels at Yen112.75.

But that didn't help the Nikkei , which was off 0.2%, even as oil companies rose at least 1%. But precision-instrument makers experienced declines, with Olympus (7733.TO) down nearly 3%.

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The S&P/ASX 200 was flat despite gains for commodity companies. Rio Tinto (RIO) and BHP Billiton (BHP.AU) rose more than 1.5%. The country's major banks were down.

One early highlight was Korea's Kospi , which rose 0.3% after sliding 2.7% last week, the most since August. Monday's early gains came despite index major Samsung Electronics (005930.SE) falling a further 0.7% after last week's 8.3% skid, the biggest in 5 1/2 years.

Meanwhile, oil futures fell 0.3% to start the week in Asia. That came after an end-of-week jump, helped by a weaker dollar.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 03, 2017 21:18 ET (02:18 GMT)