Asian shares mixed ahead of BoE meeting, China data


MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Thursday, as investors remained cautious ahead of a Bank of England meeting, Friday’s release of China’s GDP data, and as they digest new British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei closed nearly 1 percent higher at 16,385.89 as the yen weakened against the dollar. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent at 21,443.16. China’s Shanghai Composite index fell 0.3 percent to 3,051.13. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was up 0.4 percent at 5,411.60. South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.2 percent at 2,008.77. In Southeast Asia, the Philippine index was up, while those of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia were lower.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks inched up to another record on Wednesday after spending much of the day flitting between gains and losses, stretching the winning streak that began with a strong U.S. jobs report on Friday into a fourth day. The S&P 500 edged up 0.29 points to 2,152.43. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24.45 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,372.12. The Nasdaq composite lost 17.09 points, or 0.3 percent, at 5,005.73.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “Risk appetite took a breather ahead of the BoE meeting today (and perhaps China GDP tomorrow) and as Theresa May’s new Cabinet was digested,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank Ltd.

BRITAIN-POLITICS: Theresa May entered No. 10 Downing St., on Wednesday as Britain’s new prime minister, following a bittersweet exit by David Cameron and amid uncertainty and tough wrangling over Britain’s departure from the European Union. Britain’s transition of power unfolded with startling speed since the June 23 referendum on EU membership. Cameron announced his resignation after voters rejected his appeal to stay in the 28-nation bloc, and May, the former home secretary, became Conservative Party leader Monday. She began appointing her new Cabinet within an hour of taking office, and several posts went to “leave” supporters, including former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was given the meaty job of foreign secretary.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 105.49 yen after closing at 104.12 on Wednesday. The euro edged up to $1.1108 after closing at $1.1098 the previous day.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 62 cents at $45.37 a barrel after closing at $44.75 a barrel in New York on Wednesday. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, added 55 cents to $46.81 a barrel. On Wednesday, it closed at $46.26 a barrel.

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