Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Asian shares traded mixed following a choppy session in the US with stocks ending higher after President-elect Donald Trump held a raucous and freewheeling press conference that analysts said was sparse on economic policy details.
The news conference concluded with Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, not providing further clarity on his proposed policies, reports the CNBC.
“President elect Trump’s first news conference since late July 2016 has left a veritable laundry list of questions unanswered for markets,” said Westpac Global Strategy Group in a note released on Thursday.
“Trump made a couple references to “making American great again” but there was no detail on infrastructure spending, corporate tax reform, personal income tax cuts, the prospects for deregulation or the possibility of another tax repatriation holiday,” Westpac added.
Australia’s ASX 200 slipped 0.08 per cent, down from earlier gains of 0.51 per cent.
Australian healthcare sub-index was down 1.19 per cent, tracking the fall in healthcare stocks in the US overnight. Biotech firm CSL fell 1.45 per cent, while Mayne Pharma Group dropped 2.63 per cent.
Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 1.13 per cent, as the yen strengthened against the dollar.
A stronger yen is generally bad news for Japanese companies as it makes exports more expensive and lowers repatriated profits earned overseas.
Japanese condiments manufacturer Kewpie added 5.37 per cent, after the company said it expects operating profit to rise 10.7 per cent to 33 billion yen ($287 million) for the full year ending November and that it will increase the dividends by 1.5 yen per share compared to the previous year to 36 yen each.
In South Korea, the Kospi was up 0.1 per cent.
Samsung Electronics was down 0.16 per cent while Samsung C&T added 1.19 per cent as investors shrugged off news that Samsung Group chief Jay Lee arrived at the South Korean special prosecutor’s office for questioning over a corruption scandal which has engulfed South Korea, and resulted in the impeachment by parliament of President Park Geun-hye.
Over in mainland China, the Shanghai composite inched up 0.2 per cent, while the Shenzhen composite was unchanged.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was slipped to trade down 0.27 per cent.
Over at Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average finished up 0.5 per cent to 19,954.28, while the S&P 500 closed 0.28 per cent higher at 2,275.32.
The Nasdaq composite added 0.21 per cent to close at 5,563.65.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, last traded at 101.66, falling as low as 101.28 overnight in reaction to Trump’s news conference.
“The US dollar rally was based on the assumption Trump’s administration will push through a massive infrastructure building and fiscal stimulus package, which will lead to higher inflation in the future,” said Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets, in a note on Thursday.
The dollar-index has risen nearly 3 per cent since Trump was announced the election winner.
“That assumption is now unwinding, because the president-elect did not even mention the key word ‘stimulus,'” she added.
The yen rose against the dollar, fetching 115.03, compared with levels as high as 116 in yesterday’s session.
The Australian dollar was stronger against the greenback, at $0.7446.
Brent futures inched down 0.09 per cent to $55.05 a barrel during Asian hours, while US crude dipped 0.15 per cent to $52.17.
Oil prices had jumped more than 2.5 per cent on Wednesday during US house, as the dollar weakened after Trump’s news conference and on news that Saudi Arabia cut exports to Asia.