Asian shares firm, oil prices steady

| Updated: November 17, 2017 13:54:37

File Photo (Reuters) File Photo (Reuters)

Asian stock markets were mostly firm on Thursday and oil prices were steady, despite a second straight day of losses on Wall Street overnight.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 per cent to 22,210.45 and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.5 per cent to 2,531.74. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.4 per cent to 28,979.81.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 per cent to 5,943.50. But China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 per cent to 3,395.46. Stocks in Southeast Asia were mostly higher, reports AP.

US stock markets finished lower on Wednesday, led by a decline in tech stocks. The S&P 500 index fell 0.6 per cent to 2,564.62. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.6 per cent to 23,271.28.

The Nasdaq composite slid 0.5 per cent to 6,706.21. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 0.5 per cent to 1,464.09.

Crude oil prices eked out a tiny gain. Benchmark US crude added 1 cent to $55.34 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 37 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to settle at $55.33 per barrel on Wednesday.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 10 cents to $61.97 per barrel in London. It lost 34 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to close at $61.87 a barrel on Wednesday.

The dollar rose to 112.96 yen from 112.84 yen while the euro weakened to $1.1781 from $1.1790.

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