Asian stocks drift higher on final trading day of 2017

Asian stocks drift higher on final trading day of 2017

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets mostly drifted higher on Friday after Wall Street finished with modest gains.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 percent to 22,841.64 and China's Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2 percent to 3,302.01. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.4 percent to 29,982.17. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was the only market that went south. It fell 0.3 percent to 6,068.80. South Korean stock markets closed on Thursday.

ANALYST'S TAKE: Looking back the year of 2017, "markets have been disturbingly sanguine about risks," such as North Korean nuclear threats and the U.S. government's new foreign policy to put American interest first, said Mizuho Bank Ltd. in a daily commentary.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished with on Thursday, one day before the final trading day of this year. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.2 percent to 2,687.54. The Dow gained 0.3 percent to 24,837.51. The Nasdaq added 0.2 percent to 6,950.16. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 0.3 percent to 1,548.93.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 34 cents to $60.18 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 20 cents to settle at $59.84 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gained 35 cents to $66.51 per barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 112.76 yen from 112.88 yen while the euro strengthened to $1.1946 from $1.1945.

BITCOIN: The price of bitcoin rose 2.7 percent to $14,811.94 as of 3:36 a.m. GMT, rebounding from a slide, according to the tracking site CoinDesk.

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