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Stocks mixed as investors seek clarity on Trump policies

TOKYO – Global stocks were mixed on Friday and the dollar steadied, as investors sought greater clarity on the upcoming economic policies of President-elect Donald Trump.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 fell 0.7 per cent to 4,498, while Germany’s DAX was up 0.1 per cent at 10,641. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 1 per cent to 6,761. U.S. shares appeared headed for a weaker open a day after the Dow hit a record high following a four-day streak of gains. Dow futures were down 0.3 per cent while S&P 500 futures shed 0.6 per cent.

TRUMP HOPES: Investors are hopeful about some of the policy changes that may come when the Trump administration takes office in January, including tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation. An improved American economy is a certain boon to close trading partners in Europe and Asia. But some analysts urged caution, noting there was still little detail on what Trump wanted to do.

THE QUOTE: “Trump has not announced anything new so far, apart from reaffirming his priority to repeal and replace ‘Obamacare’ on top of implementing tax reforms,” said Chang Wei Liang, Singapore Treasury Division at Mizuho Bank, referring to President Obama’s health care program.

BONDS: Investors have been pulling out of bonds, expecting Trump’s policies might spur inflation, leading to higher interest rates, both of which are bad for bonds. Higher yields on bonds also would draw investors away from equity markets, pulling prices lower.

ASIA’S DAY: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 1.4 per cent to 22,531.09 and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.9 per cent to 1,984.43. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2 per cent to finish at 17,374.79 after touching a half-year high in early trading as the yen fell against the dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.8 per cent to 5,370.70. Shares in Taiwan dropped 2.1 per cent and in Indonesia they fell 3.6 per cent. The Shanghai Composite added 0.8 per cent at 3,196.04.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 61 cents to $44.05 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 53 cents to $45.31 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. currency rose to 106.28 yen from 105.33 yen late Thursday in Asia. The euro slid to $1.0877 from $1.0945.

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