Japan ruling party win boosts Nikkei; other trading muted


Updated 1:43 am, Monday, October 23, 2017

TOKYO (AP) — Global trading was muted Monday, but Japan’s benchmark rose on the back of a parliamentary election victory by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democrats, who had promised stability and growth.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 was virtually unchanged at 5,371.36 in early trading, while Germany’s DAX also nearly flat at 12,987.54. Britain’s FTSE 100 was unchanged at 7,523.23. Dow futures were nearly flat at 23,281.00. S&P 500 futures fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,573.30, pointing to a slow start on Wall Street.

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ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.1 percent to close at 21,696.65. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 5,894.00. South Korea’s Kospi was flat at 2,490.05. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.6 percent to 28,322.08, while the Shanghai Composite inched up nearly 0.1 percent to 3,380.70. India’s Sensex was flat at 32,399.55 and shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

JAPAN ELECTION: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party scored a win in the nationwide parliamentary election Sunday, partly because of a splintered opposition. But a new pacifist opposition party made dramatic gains, underscoring voters’ doubts about Abe’s agenda for revising Japan’s war-renouncing constitution and strengthening the military.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: “While the win by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party had been widely expected, the strong mandate awarded via the landslide win made all the difference for markets this morning,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

TRUMP TAXES: Investor sentiment has gotten a boost from President Donald Trump’s plan to slash corporate taxes and make other business-friendly changes to U.S. tax laws. Under the administration’s plan, the first major overhaul of the tax code in three decades, corporations would see their top tax rate cut from 35 percent to 20 percent. Should the reforms pass, interest rates are also likely to move higher, which will benefit banks and other financial companies.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 26 cents to $52.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday it gained 33 cents to $51.84 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, climbed 2 cents to $57.77 a barrel.

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CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 113.83 yen from 113.34 yen late Friday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1745 from $1.1802.

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AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama can be reached at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

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