Asian Stocks Fall in Thin Trading After Wall Street’s Slide

TOKYO (AP) -
A journalist films the final stock price index after the ceremonial closing event of the 2016 stock market in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday. (Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji)

Asian shares mostly dropped in thin trading Thursday, taking their cue from a slide on Wall Street as the stronger yen helped send Japanese stocks lower.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 1.4 percent to 19,122.24, as the strengthening yen, which reduces export earnings, weighed on market sentiments. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 recouped earlier losses and inched up nearly 0.1 percent to 5,689.40. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1 percent to 2,023.35. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.1 percent to 21,733.26, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 percent at 3,109.14. Shares were also lower in Taiwan.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 111.36 points, or 0.6 percent, to 19,833.68. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 18.96 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,249.92. The Nasdaq composite, which set a record high close the day before, slid 48.89 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,438.56.

“With the series of weak leads, Asian equities could reverse some of the gains clocked in the day prior,” says Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 25 cents to $53.81 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 7 cents to $56.89 a barrel in London.

In currency trading, the dollar fell to 116.60 yen, down from 117.62 yen late Wednesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.0455 from $1.0468.