Stock market today: Asian shares slip in cautious trading following a weak close on Wall Street

Stock market today: Asian shares slip in cautious trading following a weak close on Wall Street

22 Nov    AP, Finance News, PMN Business

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BANGKOK (AP) — Shares slipped in Asia on Wednesday, tracking a decline on Wall Street a day after stocks there hit their highest level since the start of August.

Tokyo and Mumbai advanced while most other major markets declined. U.S. futures were little changed and oil prices edged lower.

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Trading is tapering off ahead of holidays in the U.S. and Japan on Thursday, with few data releases to drive activity.

But news that ChatGPT-maker OpenAI’s ousted CEO, Sam Altman, was going to return to the company could spur some fresh movement in technology shares. Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI and has rights to its technology, quickly moved to hire Altman, though its CEO Satya Nadella said the company was open to having him return to OpenAI.

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Altman said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that “with the new board and (with) Satya’s support, I’m looking forward to returning to OpenAI, and building on our strong partnership with (Microsoft).”

San Francisco-based OpenAI said in a statement late Tuesday: “We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board” made of former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo.

U.S. home sales fell more than 4% in October, while minutes from the latest policy setting meeting of the Federal Reserve showed the central bank in a holding pattern as it assesses the impact of its aggressive interest rate hikes on inflation and the economy overall.

Wednesday will bring an update on durable goods orders and a consumer sentiment survey by the University of Michigan.

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Asia is also relatively quiet on the data front.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged 0.3% higher to 33,451.83 and the Kospi in Seoul edged 0.1% higher, to 2,511.70.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng shed 0.4% to 17,673.23, while the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.7%, at 3,045.15.

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Troubled property developer Sunac China Holding’s shares rose 2.3% as state media reported it had completed a restructuring of its $90 billion in debts. That followed reports that the government was urging lenders to provide financing on easier terms for developers that are operating normally.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1% to 7,073.40. Shares also fell in Taiwan and Thailand and Mumbai.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, to 4,538.19 for just its third loss in the last 17 days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2% to 35,088.29, and the Nasdaq composite dipped 0.6% to 14,199.98.

Retailers were mixed after several reported their earnings for the latest quarter and, more importantly, their forecasts for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Lowe’s sank 3.1% despite reporting better profit for the latest quarter.

Best Buy dipped 0.7% after likewise beating analysts’ expectations for profit in the latest quarter but falling short on revenue and cutting its forecast for the full year. However, Dick’s Sporting Goods rose 2.2% after delivering stronger profit and revenue for the third quarter than analysts expected.

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Stocks have gained recently on rising hopes that inflation has cooled enough to make the Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates a cut rather than a hike. The Fed’s main interest rate is at its highest level since 2001 as it tries to slow the economy and hurt investment prices just enough to smother inflation without causing a painful recession.

Deutsche Bank expects the U.S. economy to fall into a mild recession early in 2024 and the Fed to begin cutting rates in June. The rest of Wall Street is split on whether a recession could occur as the job market and inflation slow under the weight of high rates and yields.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 4.41%, where it was late Tuesday. Just a few weeks ago, it was above 5%, at its highest level since 2007 and undercutting prices for stocks and other investments.

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil shed 19 cents to $77.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up 6 cents to $77.77 on Tuesday.

Brent crude, the international standard, lost 22 cents to $82.23 a barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 148.96 Japanese yen from 148.39 yen late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.0902 from $1.0912.

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