Asian stocks mixed after Wall St ends 2021 with big gain

AP Business

Yoon Suk Yeol, center right, the presidential election candidate of South Korea’s main opposition People Power Party (PPP), and Lee Jae-myung, center left, the presidential election candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, attend a ceremony for the first trading day of stock market at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul, South Korea Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. (Kim Hong-ji/Pool Photo via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Monday on 2022′s first trading day after Wall Street ended last year with a double-digit gain.

Hong Kong retreated while Seoul gained. Markets in Japan, China and Australia were closed.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index slipped Friday amid lingering worries about the coronavirus’s omicron variant but ended 2021 with an annual gain of 26.9%.

“It remains to be seen to what extent the optimism of the New Year will be reflected in financial markets,” said Venkateswaran Levanya of Mizuho Bank in a report.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.3% to 23,332.13 while Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.3% to 2,987.29.

Singapore, Jakarta and Malaysia advanced. Thai markets were closed.

Also Monday, Singapore’s government announced its economy grew by 7.2% last year, rebounding from the previous year’s 5.4% contraction.

On Friday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.3% to 4,766.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.2% to 36,338.30. The Nasdaq fell 0.6% to 15,644.97.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 40 cents to $75.61 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.78 on Friday to $75.21. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, gained 35 cents to $78.13 per barrel in London. It lost $1.75 the previous session to $77.78 per barrel.

The dollar advanced to 115.28 yen from Friday’s 115.09 yen. The euro declined to $1.1344 from $1.1383.

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