Asian stocks mixed; tax reform sets the tone

Asian equity markets traded without a unified direction on Thursday, with some indexes recovering from previous session losses, while investors awaited fresh developments concerning the long-awaited tax reform in the United States and prepared for labor data.

 

Market players took a breather on Wednesday as several reports said Republican House and Senate will soon pass a bill to avoid a US government shutdown from Dec 8 to Dec 22.

 

Meanwhile, speculation over the GOP-backed tax reform continued to be a key factor for traders. Now the bill, recently voted in the Senate, enters in a negotiation phase with the House.

 

In that regard, the US dollar index, which gauges the greenback against six major currencies, was trading at 93.64 by the time of this writing, up 0.06 percent.

 

On the data front, ADP/Moody's Analytics monthly report showed US private payrolls adding 190,000 jobs in November, above an initially forecasted 185,000.

 

<<< Politics >>>

 

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said the US will now recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a controversial move that has already been received with strong criticism in the international community, especially among Arab nations.

 

<<< Cryptocurrencies >>>

 

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, has touched a fresh all-time high of $14,000, less than a day after breaking above the $12,000 milestone.

 

<<< Next in Europe >>>

 

Investors will also keep an eye on a speech by the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi due at 16:00 GMT in search for hints on the future of monetary policy in the region.

 

<<< Next in the United States >>>

 

In the American session, traders will get a new look at the weekly initial jobless claims count as of 13:30 GMT, with an expected increase to 240,000 from a prior week 238,000 reading.

 

<<< Asian Stock Indexes at 06:45 GMT >>>

 

Australia ASX S&P                +30.90            +0.51%           6,060.80

Shanghai Composite             -28.28             -0.86%            3,265.69

Hong Kong Hang Seng          +39.27            +0.14%           28,264.07

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