People walk past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a local bank in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. Asian stocks were mixed Monday after investors found no surprises from last week's key meeting of central bankers while gasoline futures spiked after Tropical Storm Harvey battered Texas' refinery-rich Gulf Coast. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Asian shares mixed, US storm sends gasoline futures spiking

August 28, 2017 - 1:19 am

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Monday after investors found no surprises from last week's key meeting of central bankers while gasoline futures spiked after Tropical Storm Harvey battered Texas' refinery-rich Gulf Coast.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was practically unchanged at 19,459.40 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent to 2,367.37. Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.3 percent to 27,943.10 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China added 0.8 percent to 3,354.77. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.7 percent to 5,703.50. Taiwan's benchmark rose and indexes in Southeast Asia were mixed.

STORMY WEATHER: Incessant rain from Harvey, which slammed ashore as a strong hurricane late last week, has submerged much of Houston and shut down Texas's oil and gas industry. It's unclear how bad the damage to facilities along the state's Gulf Coast but preliminary signs indicate widespread losses, which will have big implications for the U.S. economy and oil and gas prices. Gasoline futures spiked 5.5 percent to $1.76 a gallon, its highest level since the start of the year, while crude oil held steady. S&P Global analysts said about 2.2 million barrels per day of refining capacity were down or being brought down by Sunday.

NO SURPRISES: The gatherings of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was last week's big economic event but investors found no surprises in speeches by Fed chief Janet Yellen and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi. There was nothing to change investors' expectations that the Fed will continue to gradually raise interest rates and prepare to trim its $4.5 billion balance sheet. Investors were now looking ahead to economic data releases due later this week, led by China's purchasing managers' index on Thursday.

MORE MISSILES: North Korea fired three more missiles over the weekend while South Korea pressed on with military drills involving U.S. troops. The latest moves renewed concerns about tension on the Korean Peninsula, though the fallout in stock market trading in Seoul appeared to be limited.

MARKET VIEW: "No clear policy clues from the Jackson Hole central bankers' symposium left investors pondering the impact of the storm in Texas on Gulf Oil production and North Korea testing three more missiles," said Rob Carnell, head of Asia research at ING.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks finished slightly higher on Friday. The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 2,443.05. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.1 percent to 21,813.67. The Nasdaq composite dipped 0.1 percent to 6,265.64.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 20 cents to $47.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 44 cents to settle at $47.87 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 10 cents to $52.08 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.14 Japanese yen from 109.36 yen on Friday. The euro eased to $1.1926 from $1.1827.

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