Asian Stock Markets Mixed After US Presidential Debate

Friday, October 23, 2020 6:56 AM | MT Newswires

Asian stock markets were mixed and muted Friday after the US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden ended without excessive rancor or other market catalysts.

Hong Kong and Tokyo edged forward, but Shanghai fell back 1% ahead of next week's Fifth Plenum of the 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing next week, wherein a five-year program for the Sino economy will be unveiled. Other exchanges were also mixed.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 finished up 0.2% after opening evenly on Wall Street cues and trading higher following the US presidential debates.

A stronger yen against the US dollar capped the upside in export-oriented Japan, while market denizens again awaited developments on a stimulus package in Washington. Investors are cautious as earnings season unfolds, said analysts.

The Nikkei 225 rose 42.32 points to 23,516.59 points, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 170 to 50.

The Nikkei 225 is off 0.6% year-to-date.

In other news, economic conditions remain severe in Japan in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite government measures to support spending, the Cabinet Office said in its monthly assessment.

Also, the official consumer price index (CPI) and core CPI in September were unchanged from a year earlier, reported officials.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index finished up 0.5%, after opening lower but getting fueled by oil issues after Russian leader Vladimir Putin said he supports crude-production limits among petroleum states.

The Hang Seng rose 132.65 points to 24,918.78 points, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 28 to 19.

Leading the upside were state oil giant CNOOC (883:HK), up 7.3%, followed by China Petroleum & Chemical (386:HK), up 6.7%, and then PetroChina (857:HK), up 6.5%.

In other news, mainland China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange issued a statement that the nation's currency may fluctuate more in the period ahead than is normal.

On the other exchanges, the S. Korean Kospi rose 0.2%; the Taiwan TWSE declined 0.1%; the Australian ASX 200 declined 0.1%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 0.4%, and the Thai Set declined 0.1%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.3%.

The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index lost 0.6%.

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