Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street hits new high

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Beijing: Asian stock markets were mixed Wednesday after Wall Street hit a new high as investors looked ahead to a Federal Reserve gathering for an update on US stimulus.

Shanghai advanced while Hong Kong declined. Tokyo was little-changed.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.2% after a quiet day in the market.

Investors are betting on an absence of aggressive taper signals when Fed officials speak Friday at their annual Jackson Hole meeting, said Mizuho Bank’s Venkateswaran Lavanya in a report.

Some Fed officials say the U.S. central bank needs to start winding down bond purchases and other stimulus as hiring and inflation rise. Others want to wait for stronger economic data that show a recovery is established.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2% to 3,521.03 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.4% to 25,615.67. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo was up less than 0.1% at 27,737.32.

The Kospi in Seoul, South Korea, shed 0.2% to 3,131.85 and the S&P 500 in Sydney advanced 0.2% to 7,520.70.

India’s Sensex opened 0.3% higher at 56,100.93. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets rose.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 advanced to 4,486.23 for its second record high in two weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1% to 35,366.26. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.5% to a record 15,019.80.

Banks and a mix of retailers, travel companies and restaurant chains accounted for much of the upward move. Those gains offset a slide in health care companies, household goods makers and technology stocks.

Investors bid up shares in homebuilders after the government reported that sales of new U.S. homes rose modestly last month.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 21 cents to 67.33 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 1.90 on Tuesday to 67.54. Brent crude, used as the price basis for international oils, shed 14 cents to 70.91. It rose 2.30 the previous session to 71.05.

The dollar advanced to 109.73 yen from Tuesday’s 109.70 yen. The euro declined to 1.1742 from 1.1755.

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