Asian shares mostly higher with all eyes on Trump-Kim summit

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher yesterday as market players tried to digest the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

KEEPING SCORE

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 0.3 per cent to finish at 22,878.35. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.2 per cent at 6,054.40. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5 per cent to 2,468.88 after fluctuating earlier in the day.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng’s rose 0.4 per cent to 31,181.78, while the Shanghai Composite index added 0.9 per cent to 3,079.36.

WALL STREET

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.78 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 25,322.31. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.97 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,782.00 and the Nasdaq composite rose 14.41 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,659.93.

People walk by an electronic board displaying stock trading index at a brokerage house in Beijing. – AP

SUMMIT WATCH

Trump and Kim concluded their summit by signing a joint document in which they committed to working “toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula” and to joining together “to build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula.

The broad promises largely reiterated past agreements and included a commitment to “establish new US-DPRK relations” but not an agreement to end the technical state of war.

CENTRAL BANKS

The Federal Reserve started a two-day meeting on interest rates yesterday, wrapping up today. Investors expect the nation’s central bank to raise interest rates from their current level of 1.75 per cent to two per cent, but most attention will be on how many rate hikes

Fed officials are considering doing later this year. On Friday, the Bank of Japan is due to give its latest policy update.

ANALYST’S TAKE

“Deal or no deal? Just don’t ask what comprises a ‘deal’ and we are fine.

At the risk of sounding a tad frivolous, that appears to be the truth of the matter,” said Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank in Singapore of the Trump-Kim summit.

ENERGY

Benchmark US crude rose 33 cents to USD66.43 a barrel. It was up 36 cents to USD66.10 per barrel Monday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 26 cents to USD76.72 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES

The dollar rose to 110.36 yen from 109.48 yen late Monday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1766 from $1.1799.