SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday in subdued trading after U.S. markets were closed on the Thanksgiving holiday. Japan’s benchmark rose as the dollar remained at an eight-month high against the yen.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent to 18,437.50 and South Korea’s Kospi stayed flat at 1,971.94. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.4 percent to 22,701.72, but the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent to 3,237.31. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 5,514.10. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore and other Southeast Asian markets also advanced.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “With U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving last night and a number of key stocks sitting at resistance levels, the question for traders today will be whether buyers are prepared to act independently of a lead from U.S. markets,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a commentary.
EUROPE: European markets closed slightly higher in light trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent to 6,829.20 and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent to 4,542.56. Germany’s DAX also gained 0.3 percent to 10,689.26. U.S. markets were closed Thursday and will close early on Friday.
OIL: Analysts said oil prices will be reacting to whether the OPEC members reach an agreement on meaningful output cuts during their meeting next week. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 3 cents to $47.93 per barrel in electronic trading on New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed 7 cents lower at $47.96 on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 7 cents to $48.93 in London.
CURRENCY: The dollar was almost flat at 113.65 yen from 113.69 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.0570 from $1.0547.