Asia markets mixed after Wall Street decline

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed yesterday in light trading while China and Japan were closed for holidays.

Hong Kong declined while Sydney and India advanced following Wall Street’s overnight fall. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets retreated.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.7 per cent, dragged down by more declines for tech stocks including Apple and Microsoft.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.6 per cent to 28,397.29 while the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney rose 0.4 per cent to 7,094.90.

India’s Sensex opened up 0.4 per cent at 48,454.09. New Zealand’s benchmark lost 0.4 per cent, Singapore shed one per cent and Bangkok tumbled 1.8 per cent.

“With relatively light news-flow and macro data, price action in the region was subdued in holiday-thinned conditions,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades in a report.

People walk past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange. PHOTO: AP

Investors are watching corporate earnings and looking ahead to tomorrow’s United States (US) jobs data.

Most economic indicators point to improving conditions, but investors are worried about renewed coronavirus outbreaks and a possible uptick in inflation.

Remarks by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared to stoke those worries. Selling on Wall Street accelerated after Yellen said interest rates may have to rise to keep the economy from overheating. She later downplayed her comments during an interview with The Wall Street Journal after markets closed.

The S&P 500 declined to 4,164.66. The index hit an all-time high last Thursday.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.9 per cent, to 13,663.50.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 per cent to 34,133.03.

Apple fell 3.5 per cent and Facebook slid 1.3 per cent. Google’s parent company dropped 1.5 per cent and Amazon lost 2.2 per cent.

More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results so far this earnings season, which show profit growth of 54 per cent, according to FactSet.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude gained 55 cents to USD66.24 per barrel. The contract rose USD1.20 on Tuesday to USD65.69 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 59 cents to USD69.47 per barrel in London. It advanced USD1.32 cents the previous session to USD68.88 a barrel.

The dollar rose rose to JPY109.39 from Tuesday’s JPY109.30. The euro rose to USD1.2013 from USD1.2009.