Most Asia stocks up after Wall St records, Shanghai slips

 

The seemingly unending run of records on Wall Street continued to help Asian markets on Thursday, with Tokyo also buoyed by a weaker yen but Shanghai slipped after data showed China's economic growth moderating.

Another positive day of earnings provided a base for the Dow and S&P 500 to clock up fresh all-time highs while US investors were also hopeful Donald Trump can succeed in pushing through his tax cut plans.

However, there was a sobering warning from his Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin who said markets could suffer a sharp sell-off if lawmakers on Capitol Hill do not pass the measures.

Still, for now investors are happy to go buying. Tokyo ended 0.4 percent up at a 21-year high -- and a 13th straight gain that marks its best run in 30 years.

The weaker yen was providing extra support, along with confidence in the global economy and expectations for a clear election win for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday.

The Japanese currency was sitting around 113 to the dollar, boosting the country's exporters. The greenback has been lifted by speculation that a fiscal hawk could take the helm at the Fed early next year.

Among other markets Sydney rose 0.1 percent and Singapore put on 0.6 percent while Wellington and Taipei also chalked up gains. Seoul slipped 0.4 percent.

But Hong Kong tumbled 1.9 percent, wiping out all gains seen in a five-day rally, while Shanghai slipped 0.3 percent after figures showed a slight dip in Chinese growth.

In early European trade London fell 0.3 percent, Paris dipped 0.2 percent and Frankfurt gave up 0.1 percent.

- Chinese growth -

Beijing unveiled figures showing the world's number two economy grew 6.8 percent in July-September, against 6.9 percent in both the previous two quarters but in line with forecasts.

However, while a tad weaker, the data points to stability in the economy after years of slowing growth and will likely be welcomed by the Communist Party as it holds its twice-a-decade congress to hand Xi Jinping another five-year term.

Thursday's reading also indicated the economy was on course to beat the government's annual target of about 6.5 percent.

"Relatively strong economic performance this year offers a good opportunity for the government to address several long-term economic issues," Raymond Yeung, chief Greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group in Hong Kong, wrote in a recent report.

"Xi also needs to shift China's economy from a credit-intensive, property-led growth model to one that supports sustainable growth," he said, according to Bloomberg News.

Oil prices were down after rising Wednesday on another report showing US inventories falling last week, while dealers also were hopeful Russia and OPEC can agree to extend a production cut that has supported the commodity over the past year.

Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers, said members of the crude producers' group were keen to press on with the deal.

"I think OPEC is desperate to bring the market into equilibrium and mop up as much of the excess stockpiles, which was caused as a result of the free-for-all production approach over the last few years," he said in a note.

- Key figures around 0820 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.4 percent at 21,448.52 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.9 percent at 28,159.09 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,370.17 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,253.59

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1815 from $1.1790 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3205 from $1.3204

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.98 yen from 112.93 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 18 cents at $51.86 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 24 cent at $57.91

New York - DOW: UP 0.7 percent at 23,157.60 (close)

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