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Stock market today: Asian shares mostly decline, while Tokyo again touches a record high

AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares mostly declined Monday, although Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index touched another record high in morning trading.

The Nikkei 225 gained 0.5% to 39,309.76. Trading was closed in Tokyo for a holiday on Friday. The benchmark surged to an all-time high on Thursday.

In currency trading, the dollar edged up to 150.49 Japanese yen from 150.47 yen. The euro cost $1.0818, down from $1.0823.

The weakness of the yen is one factor attracting many foreign investors to Japanese shares, said Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management.

He said investors were selling to lock in profits from recent gains in Chinese markets, which have rallied slightly after a months-long slump.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 0.7% to 16,606.31, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.7% to 2,984.74.

Elsewhere in Asia, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed, inching down less than 0.1% to 7,641.50. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.8% to 2,647.34.

On Friday, Wall Street finished the week with a record high, mostly on the back of a strong technology sector. But some technology company shares weakened, or stood little changed, such as Nvidia.

The S&P 500 index rose less than 0.1% to 5,088.80. That marks another record high for the benchmark index and its sixth winning week in the last seven.

Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to 39,131.53. The Nasdaq slipped 0.3% to 15,996.82.

Earnings remain the big focus this week, as a key indicator on where the U.S. and global economies are headed. Among the U.S. companies reporting results are home improvement retailer Lowe’s, discount retailer Dollar Tree , computer maker HP and electronics retailer Best Buy.

More economic data are also upcoming on consumer sentiment, inflation and the U.S. economy. An update on the pace of growth in the United States in the October-December quarter is due on Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve has been trying to tame inflation back to its target of 2%. Previous data on consumer and wholesale prices came in hotter than Wall Street expected. Traders now expect the Fed to cut rates in June instead of March.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude lost 42 cents to $76.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 40 cents to $80.40 a barrel.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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