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Asian stocks mostly higher as dollar strengthens


NewsHubAsian shares were mostly higher Wednesday morning on the back of a strengthening dollar and quiet trading ahead of remarks by President-elect Donald Trump.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent in the morning session to 19,370.86. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 5,782.90. South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.2 percent at 2,071.09. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 0.7 percent to 22,911.06, while the Shanghai Composite was little changed at 3,161.87. Shares in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.
WALL STREET: The Nasdaq composite index notched its fourth record-high close in a row, increasing 20 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,551.82. The S&P 500 ended unchanged at 2,268.90. The Dow slipped 31.85 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,855.53.
TRUMP FACTOR: Investors are awaiting Trump’s first news conference in nearly six months, as questions fly over Russia’s role in the election year hacking of Democratic groups. Markets are awaiting news on Trump’s plan to disengage from his businesses and on his policy positions.
THE QUOTE: “Except for some minor commotion here and there as risk sentiment continued to yo-yo, markets have been hushed overnight as caution takes hold, ahead of Donald Trump’s” press conference, said Illka Gobius, managing director at Pinpoint.
ENERGY: Benchmark crude rose 13 cents to $50.95 a barrel. It lost $1.14, or 2.2 percent, to close at $50.82 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price oil sold internationally, added 11 cents to $53.75.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 116.17 yen from 115.65 yen in late trading Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.0547 from $1.0607.

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