Asian shares mostly lower after topsy-turvy day on Wall St

03-May-2018 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Shares are mixed in Asia after a topsy-turvy May Day session on Wall Street, where most benchmarks recovered from early losses as Apple led a rally in technology companies.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.3 percent to 22,444.09 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.6 percent to 30,622.73. The Shanghai Composite index shed 0.4 percent to 3,070.45 and South Korea’s Kospi gave up 0.4 percent to 2,506.55. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 advanced 0.5 percent to 6,045.70. Shares were lower in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

WALL STREET: US stocks clawed back early losses Tuesday as the rally in technology and smaller, domestically-focused companies helped offset a slump in household goods makers and industrial companies. The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 354 points, then recovered to close down 64. The S&P 500 index rose 0.3 percent to 2,654.80. The Dow slipped 0.3 percent to 24,099, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite jumped 0.9 percent to 7,130.55. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 0.5 percent to 1,550.33.

TRADE: Top trade officials from the US are due to meet in Beijing with senior Chinese leaders to discuss ways to defuse worsening tensions over the trade imbalance. The Trump administration decision Monday to delay a decision on imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports sidesteps a potential trade battle with Europe for now, but European Union leaders want a permanent exemption and say the uncertainty caused by delays is bad for business.

ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “The optimism stemming from the delay of metal tariffs in the US… appears to have dissipated into today’s session with trade tensions also looming ahead. As investors look ahead to the meeting between US and Chinese delegates into the end of the week, both the trade and commerce representatives in the US spoke of challenges,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

US ECONOMY: US manufacturing grew at a slower pace in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers. Many factories said shortages of workers and skills affected their productivity. Meanwhile the Commerce Department said construction spending fell in March as home building dropped sharply.

SAMSUNG BIOLOGICS: South Korean biotech company Samsung Biologics Co.’s shares plunged as much as 11 percent in Seoul after a regulator said Samsung breached accounting rules. Samsung said it will defend itself and has abided by accounting rules. At stake is whether or not the way Samsung Biologics evaluated the value of its affiliate Samsung Bioepis violated rules.

ENERGY: Overnight, oil prices gave up some of their recent gains. But they bounced back Wednesday in Asia, with benchmark US crude gaining 27 cents to $67.52 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 1.9 percent to $67.25 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 7 cents to $73.20 per barrel. It dropped 2.1 percent to $73.13 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.74 Japanese yen from 109.88 yen. The euro rose to $1.2004 from $1.1993.


Category: FinanceAsia

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