Asian stock markets mixed as investors wait for Fed cue

FILE - This Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, file photo shows the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks fell Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, in lackluster trading as investors awaited a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday for hints on a possible further interest rate increase. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

MANILA, Philippines — Asian stock markets were mixed Friday, with investors preferring to sit on the sidelines ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech for cues on the timing of the next policy rate hike. Trading volumes and momentum also faded in the backdrop of slumping commodities, weak demand and overcapacity in emerging economies.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.7 percent at 16,448. Hong Kong' Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent to 22,963.33. China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.4 percent at 3,080.15. Australia's S&P ASX 200 slid 0.1 percent to 5,534.20. South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.3 percent at 2,037.56. Southeast Asian markets were mixed.

WALL STREET: Stocks fell in light trading for a second day on Thursday as investors sifted through a mix of earnings reports. The major indexes wavered between small gains and losses in the morning then moved lower in the afternoon as investors dumped health care stocks. Disappointing earnings from a few retailers helped push down stocks of companies that rely on consumer spending. The losses were modest, and both the Standard & Poor's 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average remain close to their record highs hit last week. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 33.07 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,448.41. The S&P 500 gave up 2.97 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,172.47. The Nasdaq composite edged down 5.49 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,212.20.

ANALYST TAKE: "(Yellen's speech) is the big event that the markets anticipated, and it has the potential to create waves within the calmness that has prevailed throughout this month," said Margaret Yang, market analyst as CMC Markets Singapore. She said that aside from less risk-taking ahead of the speech at the Jackson Hole meeting, momentum is fading along with trading volumes in the equities market. Sentiment was more fragile and susceptible to any form of shocks in the backdrop of slumping commodities, weak demand and overcapacity in emerging economies.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil shed 7 cents to $47.29 a barrel from $47.33. Brent crude, used to price oil internationally, slipped 12 cents to $49.56 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 100.51 yen after closing at 100.58 the previous day. The euro rose to $1.1289 from $1.1285.

People also read these

Bolivian president, opposition spar over official's killing

Aug 26, 2016

President Evo Morales and his political opponents trade recriminations over the shocking beating death of a high-ranking government official by protesting miners who had blockaded a rural highway

Yellen suggests rate hike is coming but offers no timetable

Aug 26, 2016

Yellen says 'the case for an increase' in rates has strengthened but offers no timetable

WHY IT MATTERS: Debt

Sep 1, 2016

WHY IT MATTERS: Debt, if unchecked, risks the economy and our pocketbooks

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Your Name

Your Email Address