Stock market today: Asian stocks mostly lower after US markets were closed for Juneteenth


HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks mostly fell Thursday in thin trading after U.S. markets were closed Wednesday in observance of Juneteenth.

U.S. futures and oil prices were mixed.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1% higher to 38,324.10.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.5% to 18,336.76. The Hang Seng tech index retreated 1.4%, after jumping 3.7% on Wednesday, tracking Nvidia’s advance. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.3% to 3,009.72.

The Chinese yuan was trading at its lowest level this year, with the central parity rate set at 7.1192 yuan to the U.S. dollar, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.

The central parity rate is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the interbank market opens each business day.

China’s central bank kept its one-year lending benchmark rate unchanged at 3.45% and the five-year loan prime rate at 3.95% on Thursday. The one-year loan prime rate serves as a benchmark for the majority of corporate and household loans, while the five-year rate is used as a peg for real estate mortgages.

Meanwhile, markets were digesting comments from People’s Bank of China Gov. Pan Gongsheng, who told a financial forum in Shanghai that China will keep its monetary policies accommodative to support the economy.

In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1% lower to 7,766.30. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.2% to 2,802.00.

Elsewhere, Taiwan’s Taiex gained 0.1%, while Bangkok’s SET fell 0.3%.

On Wednesday, European equity markets were mostly lower. In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.2% to 8,205.11 after data showed that British inflation fell to the central bank’s 2% target for the first time in nearly three years. The data also backed market expectations that the Bank of England will keep its benchmark rate at 5.25% for the time being.

Germany’s DAX slipped 0.4% to 18,067.91, while the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 0.8% to 7,570.20.

U.S. markets reopen Thursday. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 added 0.3% to 5,487.03, setting an all-time high for the 31st time this year. The Nasdaq composite edged up by less than 0.1% to 17,862.23. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2% to 38,834.86.

Nvidia once again was the star, gaining 3.5% and acting as the strongest force pushing the S&P 500 upward. It lifted its total market value further above $3 trillion, again.

In other dealings early Thursday, U.S. benchmark crude oil gave up 15 cents to $80.56 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude added 8 cents to $85.15 per barrel.

The dollar rose to 158.17 Japanese yen from 158.10 yen. The euro slipped to $1.0742 from $1.0745.

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