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Asian stocks decline after Wall Street falls

International Business
Tue, 07 Feb 2017
Associated Press


Beijing: Asian stock markets were mostly lower Tuesday and oil prices rebounded after declines that dragged Wall Street lower.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.1 percent to 18,962.94 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was steady at 5,617.60. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent to 3,147.20 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.1 percent to 23,325.95. Seoul's Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 2,074.09. Benchmarks in Southeast Asia were mixed and shares rose in New Zealand.

WALL STREET: Energy companies led the price slide as oil declined, snapping a three-day winning streak for the Standard & Poor's 500 index. Phone company and real estate stocks were also fell. Technology and industrial companies eked out tiny gains. With just over half of all the companies in the S&P 500 having reported quarterly results, most have posted annual earnings growth. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.1 percent to 20,052.42. The S&P slid 0.2 percent to 2,292.56. The Nasdaq composite index gave up or 0.1 percent to 5,663.55.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "The exuberance demonstrated in the wake of Trump ordering a review of regulation faded in a lackluster session," Alex Furber of CMC Markets said in a report. "Markets are still waiting to hear more from the Trump administration on tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure," Furber said. "Rising political uncertainty in Europe is also influencing sentiment."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 12 cents to $53.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slumped 82 cents on Monday to close at $53.01. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 19 cents to $55.91 in London. It plunged $1.09 in the previous session to $55.72.

FRENCH ELECTIONS: Francois Fillon refused to drop out of the presidential race despite a scandal over possible no-show jobs for his relatives knocked him out as favorite in the April-May voting. A former premier in 2007-12, Fillon has a reputation as low-key and reliable but has been hurt by an investigation into whether political jobs he gave to his wife, son and daughter were genuine. Fillon has rejected the accusation and said the hiring was "legal and transparent." Officials of the far-right National Front, including leader Marine Le Pen, also are under investigation for their use of aides in the European parliament.

CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 111.92 yen from Monday's 111.74 yen. The euro declined to $1.0711 from $1.0738.

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