HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed Thursday following a record close on Wall Street, while profit-taking sent Japan’s Nikkei to its first loss since last week and the dollar retreated after breaking 115 yen.
Wall Street had provided a strong lead, with record closes for the Dow and S&P 500 after Republicans took control of the US Congress.
Focus will now be on the release Friday of US jobs data, which will give the latest snapshot of the economy and give an idea about the Federal Reserve’s plans for interest rates.
Tokyo slipped 0.86 percent after surging more than 10 percent since last Wednesday, helped by the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing announcement. The Nikkei lost 144.84 points to finish at 16,792.48.
Sydney slipped 0.21 percent, or 11.8 points, to 5,506.1 but Seoul rose 0.26 percent, or 5.05 points, to close at 1,936.48 and Shanghai added 0.27 percent, or 6.61 points, to 2,425.86.
Hong Kong was flat in the afternoon.
US shares jumped after Republicans ousted Democrats as the main party in the Senate for the first time in eight years, raising hopes the gridlock that has paralysed Washington for years could be broken.
Analysts said the news would boost the prospects for tax reform, a key oil pipeline and immigration reform. Democratic President Barack Obama said he was “eager to work with the new Congress to make the next two years (of his presidency) as productive as possible”.
Traders also welcomed data from payroll company ADP showing the US private sector added 230,000 jobs in October, above the 220,000 projected by analysts.
The Dow jumped 0.58 percent to a new record, while the S&P 500 also hit an all-time high after tacking on 0.57 percent.The Nasdaq was marginally lower, losing 0.06 percent.
The dollar paused in its rally against the yen, which was sparked by the BoJ’s surprise decision Friday to widen its already huge monetary base, effectively printing more money.