BEIJING—Asian stocks fell Friday after Wall Street broke a three-day winning streak and declined.
Keeping score: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.9 per cent to 21,416.44 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6 per cent to 2,936.61. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.1 per cent to 17,552.61. Seoul’s Kospi retreated 0.3 per cent to 2,015.39 and Sydney’s S&P ASX 200 lost 0.3 per cent to 5,253.70. India’s Sensex was flat at 25,871.97. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan also declined, while the Philippines and Malaysia gained.
Wall Street: Investors sold traditional safe-play stocks such as phone companies and utilities as they pored over earnings for clues about the trajectory of the U.S. economy. Analysts say companies are struggling to meet profit expectations. General Motors rose 1.5 per cent after profit more than doubled while Mattel fell 5.8 per cent on disappointing sales of Barbie dolls. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 113.75 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 17,982.52. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index shed 10.92 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,091.48. The Nasdaq composite index lost 2.24 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,945.89.
Analyst’s take: With little improvement in the U.S. economy and the S&P close to its all-time high, “some retreat is needed for bullishness to sustain,” said Bernard Aw of IG in a report. “Having said that, the lack of a strong improvement in the economic outlook raises questions whether the stock rally will go on. In my view, equities may find it difficult to push higher from recent levels.”
Europe: German’s DAX was up 0.2 per cent on Thursday, while France’s CAC 40 was down 0.1 per cent. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.2 per cent.
Energy: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 56 cents to $43.74 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1 on Thursday to close at $43.18. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 57 cents to $45.10 in London. It fell $1.27 the previous session to $44.53.
Currency: The dollar advanced to 109.96 yen from Thursday’s 109.44 yen. The euro rose to $1.1303 from $1.1293.