Asian markets mixed after Wall St gains on jobs data

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets posted mixed results Friday after Wall Street rose as investors weighed mixed economic signals ahead of a Federal Reserve conference next week.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul fell while Hong Kong advanced. Oil prices fell but remained above $90 a barrel.

Wall Street rallied after corporate results and fewer jobless claims than expected suggested the US economy has pockets of resilience despite repeated interest rate hikes.

Announcement 2

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Investors fear the Fed and central banks in Europe and Asia could derail global economic growth as they raise rates to cool inflation that is hitting multi-decade highs.

The latest US data “could keep the door open for aggressive Fed tightening,” Oanda’s Edward Moya said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost less than 0.1% to 3,274.59 and the Tokyo Nikkei 225 lost less than 0.1% to 28,927.32. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4% to 19,838.10.

Seoul’s Kospi lost 0.5% to 2,495.03 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost less than 0.1% to 7,110.40.

India’s Sensex opened less than 0.1% lower at 60,258.81. New Zealand, Bangkok and Singapore fell back while Jakarta won.

Investors were looking forward to the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming next week for indications of when and by how much the US central bank might raise rates.

Announcement 3

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Minutes from the Fed’s July meeting released this week said inflation is still too high and made clear the central bank will continue to raise interest rates.

The Fed has raised interest rates twice this year by 0.75 percentage point, triple its usual range. Forecasters expect a raise at the board’s September meeting, but say pressure for a similar raise has eased as economic growth cools.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 4,283.74 after the Labor Department reported fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.

“Initial jobless claims were down, somewhat easing concerns that the job market was starting to go in the wrong direction,” Moya said.

That followed data on Wednesday that showed July retail sales were flat from the previous month despite concerns that inflation could depress consumers’ willingness to spend.

Announcement 4

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1% to 33,999.04. The Nasdaq added 0.2% to 12,965.34.

The tech companies won. Cisco Systems rose 5.8% after reporting strong results.

Energy stocks also rose as US crude prices rose. Devon Energy rose 5.9%.

Kohl’s department store fell 7.7% after issuing a disappointing financial forecast.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude fell 38 cents to $90.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.39 to $90.50 on Thursday. Brent crude, the base price for international trade, fell 41 cents to $96.18 a barrel in London. It jumped $2.94 the day before to $96.59.

The dollar rose to 136.28 yen from 135.91 yen on Thursday. The euro fell to $1.0078 from $1.0091.

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