Asian markets extend losses after dismal session on Wall St

TOKYO (AP) – Asian share benchmarks skidded yesterday, tracking Wall Street’s overnight decline after another afternoon fizzle for stocks that left the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 index with its third straight loss. Warnings of tighter regulation of China’s financial markets added to gloom in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 2.0 per cent to 22,177.04 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slumped 1.9 per cent to 28,301.18. The Shanghai Composite index gave up 1.2 per cent to 3,264.82 while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.3 per cent to 2,477.88. The S&P ASX 200 in Australia fell 0.4 per cent to 5,946.10. Shares were mostly lower in Southeast Asia.

WALL STREET: Technology stocks recovered but then lost momentum on Tuesday, as losses for telecom stocks and utilities helped cement the S&P 500’s longest losing streak in nearly four months. The S&P 500 fell 0.4 per cent to 2,629.57. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.5 per cent to 24,180.64, and the Nasdaq composite declined 0.2 per cent to 6,762.21. Losers outnumbered winners on the New York Stock Exchange by nearly two to one.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “The sell-off into Tuesday’s US session provides weak leads for Asian markets midweek and futures have certainly pointed us in the direction of further pressure for the region,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

People walk past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo. – AP

CHINA CRACKDOWN: Chinese shares fell after a senior China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) official warned of tougher oversight over financial markets and illegal financial dealings, according to state media reports. A CBRC vice chairman, Wang Zhaoxing, said risks to markets “should not be taken lightly,” the state-run China Daily newspaper reported.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 112.12 Japanese yen from 112.60 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.1843 from $1.1825, and the British pound fell to $1.3427 from $1.3444.

ENERGY: Benchmark US crude gave up 22 cents to $57.40 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 15 cents to settle at $57.62 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, shed 24 cents to $62.62 a barrel in London.