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Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 14:07
Asian stocks mostly higher after Wall Street record highs
By Associated Press
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 14:07 By Associated Press

BEIJING - Most Asian stock markets were higher Wednesday after US shares rose on encouraging jobs data while worries about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and twin hurricane disasters eased.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent to 19,879 points and India's Sensex was up 0.3 percent at 32,242.41. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 3,376.39 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 percent to 28,889.95. Seoul's Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 2,369.82 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was up just under 0.1 percent at 5,749.10. Benchmarks in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines gained while Taiwan and New Zealand declined.

WALL STREET: Banks rose for a second day and retailers gained after the Labor Department said numbers of job openings and new hires both grew in July. That left investors hopeful people will shop and spend more. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.3 percent to a record 2,496.48. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.3 percent to 22,118.86, a fraction of a point higher than its previous record. The Nasdaq composite picked up 0.3 percent, to 6,454.28.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Financial markets seem to have abruptly stopped worrying about the end of the world, with stocks soaring again, bond yields pushing higher, and safe haven currencies such as the JPY selling off," said Rob Carnell of ING in a report. "It won't last. But until the next risk off event appears, we might as well enjoy it and can focus back on the underlying macro story." 

STORM DAMAGE: Americans counted the cost of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma but worries about further economic disruption eased. Estimates of damage from each storm topped US$100 billion in wrecked houses, petrochemical plants and crops of citrus and vegetables.

APPLE: Apple announced its newest iPhones. The iPhone 8, out Sept 22, will be able to shoot pictures with better colors and less distortion. The iPhone X has an edge-to-edge screen and can be unlocked with facial recognition. The iPhone is the source of most of Apple's revenue, and some investors worry supply constraints will slow down sales. Apple closed down 64 cents at US$160.86.

ENERGY: Benchmark US crude shed 2 cent to US$48.21 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 16 cents on Tuesday to close at US$48.23. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 13 cents to US$54.13 in London. It rose 43 cents the previous session to US$53.84.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 110.04 yen from Tuesday's 110.15 yen. The euro gained to US$1.1983 from US$1.1966.

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