Asian Shares Turn Lower After Strong Day on Wall Street

BANGKOK (AP) -
An investor sits looking at stock trading boards at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

Shares fell Thursday in Asia despite a strong day on Wall Street that was spurred by encouraging signs on U.S. hiring and growth in the service sector.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index sank 1.8 percent to 26,597.23 and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.6 percent to 23,955.80. The Kospi in South Korea sank 1.5 percent to 2,274.36. In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 jumped 0.5 percent to 6,175.40. India’s Sensex lost 1.8 percent to 35,332.22. Shares also fell in Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand. Markets in mainland China are closed for a week-long holiday.

“Asian stocks are not faring so well which is not so untypical when the U.S. dollar strengthened markedly versus Asian currencies, notably vs. the [Chinese] yuan, which is a crucial bellwether of local sentiment,” Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary.

Encouraging reports on hiring and growth in the service sector sent small companies and banks higher Wednesday and knocked bond prices into a tailspin. Both reports were stronger than analysts expected and suggest the economy is in good shape in spite of rising interest rates and oil prices, and the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note spiked to its highest level in more than seven years. The S&P 500 index added 0.1 percent to 2,925.51. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 percent to 26,828.39, another all-time high. The Nasdaq composite picked up 0.3 percent, to 8,025.09. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks climbed 0.9 percent to 1,671.29. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.18 percent, its highest since July 2011 and up from 3.05 percent a day earlier.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 13 cents to $76.28 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped 1.6 percent to settle at $76.41 a barrel in New York. U.S. crude has hit four-year highs this week. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 14 cents to $86.15 per barrel. It rose 1.8 percent to $86.29 a barrel in London.

The dollar fell to 114.32 from 114.48 yen. The euro was flat at $1.1475.