Asian stocks fall in thin trading after Wall Street's slide

Asian stocks fall in thin trading after Wall Street's slide

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TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares drooped in thin trading Thursday, taking their cue from a slide on Wall Street as the stronger yen helped send Japanese stocks lower.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped more than 1 percent to 19,199.38 in morning trading, as the strengthening yen, which reduces export earnings, weighed on market sentiments. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.1 percent to 5,678.80. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 percent to 2,019.92. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.2 percent to 21,707.16, while the Shanghai Composite shed nearly 0.3 percent at 3,094.04. Shares were also lower in Taiwan.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 111.36 points, or 0.6 percent, to 19,833.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 18.96 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,249.92. The Nasdaq composite, which set a record high close the day before, slid 48.89 points, or 0.9 percent, to 5,438.56.

THE QUOTE: "With the series of weak leads, Asian equities could reverse some of the gains clocked in the day prior," says Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.

NEW YEAR FACTOR: Also adding to the pessimism is the light global trading ahead of the New Year's holidays, keeping many players wary of taking action.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 32 cents to $53.74 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 17 cents to $56.79 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: In currency trading, the dollar fell to 116.77 yen, down from 117.62 yen late Wednesday in Asia. The euro fell to $ 1.0440 from $1.0468.


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