Most Asian stock markets fell Friday as investors turned cautious following new US sanctions targeting North Korea and a China credit rating downgrade.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4 per cent to 20,273.26 and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.7 per cent to 2,389.83. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.8 per cent to 27,877.19.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.5 per cent to 3,341.72. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.4 per cent to 5,675.70. Taiwan’s benchmark fell and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly lower.
Major US benchmarks ended lower. The S&P 500 index lost 0.3 per cent to 2,500.60. The Dow Jones industrials fell 0.2 per cent to 22,359.23. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.5 per cent to 6,422.69.
Oil futures were mixed. Benchmark US crude added 8 cents to $50.63 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract fell 14 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to settle at $50.55 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 3 cents to $56.06 a barrel in London.
The dollar weakened to 111.78 yen from 112.49 yen in late trading Thursday. The euro climbed to $1.1955 from $1.1940.