Asian shares exhibited mixed performance, as Hong Kong and Tokyo continued to strengthen with a poor US lead and concerns about the Federal Reserve’s policy in 2018 on interest rates.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.48 percent, but Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.13 percent. E-commerce giant Amazon’s expected soft launch in Australia caused some retailers to mix. Harvey Norman was down 0.64 percent, while Woolworths inched 0.04 percent up.

Meanwhile in Greater China, the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.86 percent and the Hang Seng index jumped 0.07 percent above 30,000.

Overnight, US stocks settled mixed following a slump in financials, which offset a rally in the tech sector. This happened as the Federal Reserve indicated worries over high asset valuations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled higher at 23,526, while the S&P 500 settled 0.08 lower. Nasdaq composite closed 0.07 higher at 6867.36.

Ahead of the Thanksgiving Day, volumes were light and sentiments on equities saw no help as investors digested mixed earnings.

Although their earnings reports have beaten expectations, HP Inc plummeted more than 8 percent. This happened after the company’s chief executive officer, Meg Whitman, announced that she would leave the position early in 2018.

Meanwhile, Salesforce shares slipped 1.82 percent as weak guidance undermined the better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Salesforce has recently released its fourth quarter profit forecast, which missed expectations.

Feds’ Optimistic Economic Views

The Federal Reserve’s officials indicated primarily positive outlooks on economic growth during their most recent meeting.


However, they also raised some concerns about market prices, which, they worried, were getting out of hand and  were inevitably threatening the economy.

Based on the minutes from the November Federal Open Market Committee meeting, largely optimistic views were put forward. They indicated that the labor market, consumer spending, and manufacturing were all exhibiting solid gains.

Sentiment was primarily positive, although there were disagreements on the speed of inflation.

“In their discussion of the economic situation and the outlook, meeting participants agreed that information received since the FOMC met in September indicated that the labor market had continued to strengthen and that economic activity had been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions,” the minutes reported.

On the other hand, upon evaluating the market conditions, the report took a more careful degree.

“In light of elevated asset valuations and low financial market volatility, several participants expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances. They worried that a sharp reversal in asset prices could have damaging effects on the economy,” said the minutes.

Other figures

On the economic figures, a slump in the durable orders for October undermined favorable initial jobless claims data.

On Thursday, the US Department of Labor stated that initial jobless claims dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000 for the week that ended on November 18. This figure missed forecasts of a 10,000 increase.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department said that non-defense capital goods orders not including aircraft, which is closely watched proxy for business spending plans, inched 0.5 percent down last month after a upward revision of 2.1 percent increase in September.

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