TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares gave up early gains on Friday as expectations that Donald Trump’s policies on trade might fuel inflation, pushing bond yields sharply higher. The dollar surged against the Japanese yen.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 1.5 percent to 22,520.58 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.8 percent to 1,986.11. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.7 percent to 17,456.35 after touching a half-year high in early trading as the yen fell against the dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.2 percent to 5,340.00. Shares in Taiwan dropped 2.1 percent and in Indonesia they fell 2.8 percent. The Shanghai Composite was flat at 0.1 percent at 3,172.13. WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 1.2 percent to a record high 18,807.88. The S&P 500 index added 0.2 percent to 2,167.48. The Dow and S&P 500 index are on a four-day winning streak. But the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.8 percent to 5,208.80.
TRUMP HOPES: Investors are hopeful about some of the possible policy changes under the Trump administration, taking over in January, including tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation. An improved American economy is a certain boon to export-driven Asia.
THE QUOTE: But some analysts urged caution on such optimism, while noting that U.S. markets’ being closed later in the day for Veterans’ Day may help ease some of the market swings. “Trump has not announced anything new so far, apart from reaffirming his priority to repeal and replace ‘Obamacare’ on top of implementing tax reforms,” said Chang Wei Liang, Singapore Treasury Division at Mizuho Bank, referring to President Obama’s health care program.
BONDS: Investors have been pulling out of bonds in anticipation that Trump’s policies could spur inflation and lead to higher interest rates, both of which are bad for bonds. The sell-off in bonds continued Thursday, sending bond prices lower and kicking the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 2.15 percent, the highest it’s been since January, from 2.06 percent late Wednesday. That yield is a benchmark used to set interest rates on many kinds of loans including home mortgages. Higher yields on bonds would help draw investors from equity markets, pulling prices lower.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 28 cents to $44.38 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 23 cents to $45.61 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The U.S. currency rose to 106.67 yen from 105.33 yen late Thursday in Asia. The euro slid to $1.0886 from $1.0945.
AP Business Writer Alex Veiga contributed to this report.
Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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