Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; S&P 500 and Dow close at record highs

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Thursday morning trade while gains overnight on Wall Street led to a record close for both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.4% while the Topix index shed 0.42%. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.37%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 hovered above the flatline.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.13% higher.

Wall Street record close

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 gained 0.14% to 4,793.06 — its 70th record close of 2021. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed at a record, rising 90.42 points to 36,488.63. The Nasdaq Composite lagged, slipping 0.1% to about 15,766.22.

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Those moves came as investors continued to assess the economic risks from the omicron Covid variant that has contributed to a surge in infections in places such as the U.S. and U.K.

The World Health Organization also warned Wednesday that new Covid variants could emerge during the pandemic that are “fully resistant to current vaccines or past infection.”

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.929 following a recent drop from above 96.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.95 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 114.8 seen against the greenback earlier in the week, The Australian dollar was at $0.7258 after a recent rise from below $0.724.