Asian stocks trade sideways ahead of US holiday

November 26, 2013
An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 in Shanghai, China. Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street posted its seventh straight week of gains and a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran boosted sentiment. (AP Photo)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Asian stock markets mostly traded sideways Tuesday after a lull in Wall Street's record-breaking run ahead of a U.S. holiday.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 percent to 15,546.26 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 23,735.29. China's Shanghai Composite Index was nearly unchanged at 2,186.40. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,371.30 and markets in Southeast Asia were mixed.

"There's very little macro data coming out and there's little news to drive the market one way or the other," said Andrew Sullivan of Kim Eng Securities in Hong Kong.

Wall Street has enjoyed seven weeks of gains, driven by the Federal Reserve's super easy monetary policy, signs of gradual improvement in the U.S. economy and rising company profits. But there was little company-specific news to digest Monday and trading was light before the Thanksgiving holiday later this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 7.7 points or 0.1 percent to 16,072.54. The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 2.28 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,802.48. But the Nasdaq rose as high as 4,007.09, a level it hasn't seen since Sept. 7, 2000 during the dot-com bubble. The index ended up 2.92 points, or 0.1 percent, at 3,994.57.

In energy markets, benchmark crude for January delivery was up 31 cents at $94.40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 75 cents to $94.09 on Monday.

The euro slightly rose to $1.3529 from 1.3526 late Monday in New York. The dollar rose to 101.49 yen from 101.40 yen.