Asian shares waver as market mulls Kudlow, trade tensions

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HONG KONG – Asian shares were mixed Thursday as investors assessed President Donald Trump’s pick for his new economic adviser amid lingering worries over a possible global trade war.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.2 percent to 21,810.63 while South Korea’s Kospi was nearly flat at 2,485.80. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.1 percent to 31,473.14 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China fell less than 0.One percent to 3,290.08. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent to five,925.20. Shares were combined Southeast Asia.

TRADE FEARS: Trump named Larry Kudlow, a CNBC commentator, in order to change Gary Cohn as his top economic aide. Kudlow said he’s “in accord” with Trump’s agenda, such as reducing the trade imbalance with China – marking a reversal from his previous stance. He told the network after the announcement that “China hasn’t played because of the rules for a time” additionally, the country “needs a comeuppance on trade.” He explained his team at the White House is needed implement policies set via the president, including stiff new tariffs on steel and aluminum. Separately, European Union head Donald Tusk urged Trump to cooperate while using the continent in lieu of slapping tariffs on European goods.

QUOTEWORTHY: Kudlow’s appointment “interestingly had not been significantly well-received via the market,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore. “One reason underpinning this lingering fear could possibly be the new chief economic advisor’s stance on China which increases the tension with Kudlow having targeted the united states in his first public remark.”

WALL STREET: Major U.S benchmarks ended lower. The S&P 500 index lost 0.6 % in order to complete at 2,749.48. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1 % to 24,758.12. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.2 percent to 7,496.81.

ENERGY: Oil futures extended gains. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 12 cents to $61.08 a barrel in electronic trading within the Nyc Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 25 cents to $60.96 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, utilized to price international oils, added 13 cents to $65.01 per barrel in the uk.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 106.03 yen from 106.31 yen in late trading Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.2380 from $1.2369.

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