Asian stocks open mixed

5 Dec 2012 – AAP –

Asian stock markets have open mixed as traders nervously wait for United States lawmakers to come up with a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 7.02 points to 21,806.99 points.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index opened 0.55 per cent lower at 9,380.37 points.

The benchmark Nikkei is likely to weaken following a modest sell-off on Wall Street and on a stronger yen, analysts said.

“The weakening dollar is the key component today, as it continues to edge down against the yen as US fiscal cliff negotiations appear to be deadlocked without any clear signs of hope,” said SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.11 per cent at 12,951.78 as Washington wrangled over a budget plan that would avoid a program of tax hikes and spending cuts widely expected to tip the economy into recession if they take effect.

The euro bought $1.3096 and ¥107.17 in early Asian trade.

The dollar eased to ¥81.81 from ¥81.88 in US trade.