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Asian stocks mixed after late fall on Wall Street

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Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday after a late drop left major Wall Street indices down.

Tokyo was closed on Tuesday for a public holiday. Hong Kong and Seoul retreated while Shanghai advanced.

Market participants appeared relieved to learn that President Joe Biden will appoint Jerome Powell to a second four-year term as Federal Reserve Chairman, a vote of confidence in Powell’s handling of central bank policies during the disruption brutal events caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1% to 24,705.41 and Seoul’s Kospi lost 0.4% to 3,001.07. In Sydney, the S & P / ASX 200 climbed 0.6% to 7,397.80 and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,592.07.

Investors are watching the Fed closely to see if pressure from rising inflation is prompting it to step up plans to cut bond purchases and increase its benchmark interest rate.

Powell’s approval is a sign that Biden is staying the course on monetary policy and that the Fed is gradually moving towards a policy of normalization, said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for the Commonwealth Financial Network. Overall, the Fed will continue to be a force for monetary stability.

Still, a late-afternoon sales explosion derailed the market from another all-time high on Monday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 4,682.94. The Dow Jones gained less than 0.1% to 35,619.25. The highly technological Nasdaq lost 1.3% to 15,854.76.

Small business shares also fell. The Russell 2000 Index fell 0.5% to 2,331.35.

Bond yields rose sharply following the massive sell-offs. The 10-year Treasury yield fell from 1.54% Friday night to 1.63%.

Higher Treasury yields make the more expensive areas of the market, like technology stocks, less attractive, which may explain why there were more equity sales towards the end of the day as the bond market moved. .

With rising inflation weighing on the recovery from the pandemic, the Federal Reserve is starting to cut bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low to support the economy and markets.

More than 55% of S&P 500 stocks rose on Monday, but losses at large technology and communications companies outpaced gains elsewhere in the benchmark. Chipmaker Nvidia slipped 3.1% and Netflix fell 2.9%.

Energy companies took a hard hit as US crude oil prices rose 0.9%.

US benchmark crude oil fell 50 cents to $ 76.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday.

Brent crude, the standard for international prices, fell 35 cents to $ 79.35 a barrel.

The US dollar climbed to 115.08 Japanese yen from 114.88 yen on Monday night. The euro edged up to $ 1.1239 from $ 1.1237.

Markets in the United States will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will also close early Friday.

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AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.

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