Shares were meandering in sluggish trading in Asia on Thursday as investors awaited the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. Japan’s benchmark rose after the dollar slipped against the yen.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent to 19,027.09 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,692.70. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.5 percent to 22,986.08 and South Korea’s Kospi was flat at 2,070.33. The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1 percent lower to 3,110.49. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.
THE QUOTE: “While the inauguration is dominating headlines, simmering on the back burner is the overriding theme of U.S. protectionism, expressly directed at China. With so many prominent trade hawks joining the Trump administration, it all points to a massive shift in U.S. trade policy. That does not paint a rosy picture for regional … exporters, nor countries like Australia, which play such a vital role in the global supply chain,” said Stephen Innes, a senior trader at OANDA.
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