Asian stocks mixed after Wall St ends 2021 with big gain

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Yoon Suk Yeol, center right, the presidential election candidate of South Korea's main opposition People Power Party (PPP), and Lee Jae-myung, center left, the presidential election candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, attend a ceremony for the first trading day of stock market at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul, South Korea Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. (Kim Hong-ji/Pool Photo via AP)

BEIJING – Asian stock markets were mixed Monday on 2022′s first trading day after Wall Street ended last year with a double-digit gain.

Hong Kong retreated while Seoul gained. Markets in Japan, China and Australia were closed.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index slipped Friday amid lingering worries about the coronavirus’s omicron variant but ended 2021 with an annual gain of 26.9%.

“It remains to be seen to what extent the optimism of the New Year will be reflected in financial markets,” said Venkateswaran Levanya of Mizuho Bank in a report.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.6% to 23,252.69 while Seoul’s Kospi rose 0.4% to 2,990.80.

India's Sensex opened up 1% at 58,809.99. Singapore, Jakarta and Malaysia advanced. Thai markets were closed.

Also Monday, Singapore’s government announced its economy grew by 7.2% last year, rebounding from the previous year’s 5.4% contraction.

On Friday, the S&P 500 slipped 0.3% to 4,766.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.2% to 36,338.30. The Nasdaq fell 0.6% to 15,644.97.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 56 cents to $75.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.78 on Friday to $75.21. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, gained 54 cents to $78.32 per barrel in London. It lost $1.75 the previous session to $77.78 per barrel.

The dollar advanced to 115.28 yen from Friday’s 115.09 yen. The euro declined to $1.1341 from $1.1383.