TOKYO – Share prices were mixed in early trading Tuesday in Asia, after the rally on Wall Street took a breather overnight. Investors are awaiting trade data from China this week and keeping an eye on geopolitical risks centered on North Korea.
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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.4 percent to 20,769.77 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 edged 0.1 percent higher to 5,744.20. South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.9 percent to 2,439.14 after a weeklong holiday. But Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.1 percent to 28,311.83 while the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.4 percent to 3,362.31. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.
WALL STREET: Losses for health care companies and banks left U.S. stocks lower Monday and industrial conglomerate General Electric skidded after announcing more changes in its leadership. Stocks have rallied recently on hopes that tax cuts proposed by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans will boost corporate profits. But President Donald Trump sparred over the weekend with Senator Bob Corker, a retiring Republican who has a reputation as a budget hawk. Republicans have a narrow majority and losing just a few votes could derail a bill. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dipped 0.2 percent to 2,544.73. The Dow Jones industrial average shed less than 0.1 percent to 22,761.07 and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.2 percent to 6,579.73, which ended a nine-day winning streak.
THE QUOTE: "The low volume and moderate movements in U.S. markets certainly provided little inspiration for markets in the region as Asian bourses largely shrugged off the soft U.S. performance," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. "With a light data day expected ahead, Asian markets may find moderate movements with eyes ahead to releases in the U.S. and China's loans and trade updates."
NORTH KOREA: Concerns that North Korea might choose the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Kim Jong Il's acceptance of the title of general secretary of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea for another missile test abated somewhat. Thousands of people, mostly students, packed Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to dance and watch fireworks to mark the anniversary on Sunday night. North Korean state media announced that current leader Kim Jong Un had repeated the country's defiance of the U.S. and reiterated his determination to push ahead with its nuclear program in a meeting with other top leaders on Saturday.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 7 cents to $49.65 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 29 cents to $49.58 a barrel on Monday as Tropical Storm Nate moved away from the Gulf Coast, where much of U.S. crude is drilled and processed. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 5 cents to $55.84 per barrel. It added 17 cents to $55.79 a barrel in London.
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CURRENCIES: The dollar was steady at 112.68 yen. The euro rose to $1.1773 from $1.1741.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay contributed to this report. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP
His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay