By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets were mixed in quiet trading Tuesday, following another record day on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.40% and S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.47% closed at record highs for a third consecutive day, while the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.87% notched a record ninth-straight record close.
Traders have been buoyed by the pending phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China, which announced Monday plans to open its oil, telecom and power markets wider to private competitors.
On Tuesday, leaders from China, Japan and South Korea were meeting against the backdrop of increasing threats from North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. The trilateral summit aims to smooth some regional frictions, and discuss furthering regional cooperation on the economy.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.89% was about flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.46% fell 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.32% advanced 0.3% while the Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 -0.55% rose 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.07% fell 0.5%, while stocks inched up in Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.53% but fell slightly in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.94% . Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.43% rose 0.2%. Markets in Australia and Hong Kong were set to close early for Christmas Eve. Many global markets will be closed Wednesday for the Christmas holiday.
Among individual stocks, Fuji Electric /zigman2/quotes/205163888/delayed JP:6504 +0.29% and tech-equipment maker Advantest /zigman2/quotes/206869087/delayed JP:6857 +4.07% gained in Tokyo trading, while Dai-ichi Life Holdings /zigman2/quotes/208507587/delayed JP:8750 -0.85% and Nikon /zigman2/quotes/203281219/delayed JP:7731 -0.08% fell. In Hong Kong, casino operator Sands China /zigman2/quotes/207609245/delayed HK:1928 -0.37% rose while stock-market operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing /zigman2/quotes/200234512/delayed HK:388 +0.15% and China Construction Bank /zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed HK:939 +1.24% declined. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +0.67% slipped in South Korea, and Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT +1.89% surged in Australia.
The market’s latest gains came on a day of mostly muted trading as investors kicked off a holiday-shortened week. U.S. markets were scheduled to open for only a half day on Tuesday and then close Wednesday for Christmas.
“Right now, a lot of people have gone home for the year and the path of least resistance is higher,” said Sameer Samana, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. “It’s hard to see any kind of meaningful trend change between now and the end of the year.”
Momentum for stocks has been clearly upward for months, driving the major stock indexes to record highs. The benchmark S&P 500 index has finished with a weekly gain in 10 out of the past 11 weeks.
Fears about a possible recession have also faded since the summer after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates three times, and the central bank appears set to keep them low for a long time.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 3 cents to $60.49 per barrel. Brent crude , the international standard, was down 2 cents at $65.40 per barrel.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0970% to Japanese yen was flat at 109.39 yen.