Asian Shares Little Changed on Monday 10/26 05:13
Asian shares were little changed in muted trading Monday amid widespread
uncertainty over what the U.S. presidential election will portend for markets
and economic policy.
TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares were little changed in muted trading Monday amid
widespread uncertainty over what the U.S. presidential election will portend
for markets and economic policy.
Investors remain worried over surging cases and deaths related to COVID-19,
especially in parts of the U.S. and Europe, and the implications for trade,
tourism and economic activity.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 2 points to to 23,514.41, while South
Korea's Kospi lost 0.4% to 2,352.37. Australia's S&P/ASX gained 0.1% to
6,173.20. The Shanghai Composite index declined 0.7% to 3,254.54. Markets in
Hong Kong, India and Malaysia were closed for holidays.
"Asia markets remain pacing the floor awaiting the U.S. presidential
election passage, commencing with muted moves going into the start of the
week," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist with IG in Singapore.
U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher last week. They bounced between
small gains and losses, a familiar pattern recently as traders keep an eye on
negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington over more
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she's not giving up on passing
another coronavirus relief economic package before the Nov. 3 election. She
said she sent a list of concerns to the Trump administration on Friday and was
told she would get answers on Monday.
At issue is a huge virus relief bill that would send another $1,200 direct
payment to most Americans, restart bonus unemployment benefits, fund additional
testing and vaccines, provide aid to schools and allocate money to state and
local governments, a Democratic priority.
One major concern is that if the election's outcome is uncertain, that would
further delay help for the economy as mounting numbers of coronavirus cases
raise the likelihood of further disruptions for businesses. On Friday, the U.S.
reported a record 83,757 newly confirmed cases. Another 83,718 new cases were
reported on Saturday.
On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 3,465.39, its second straight gain. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1%, to 28,335.57. The Nasdaq composite,
which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, gained 0.4% to 11,548.28,
while the Russell 2000 index rose 0.6% to 1,640.50.
In energy trading, U.S. benchmark crude lost 69 cents to $39.16 a barrel in
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 79 cents to
$39.85 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 68
cents to $41.09 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar inched up to 104.87 Japanese yen from 104.71 yen late
Friday. The euro cost $1.1833, down from $1.1861.