Asian shares fall after Wall Street’s slide

Published: April 18, 2019 11:11:47 | Updated: April 20, 2019 13:38:37

Asian shares fell Thursday after Wall Street declined despite encouraging Chinese economic data.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong all retreated. Sydney was little-changed.

US stocks fell despite data showing Chinese gross domestic product growth held steady in the latest quarter in the face of a tariff war with Washington and consumer spending accelerated.

Wall Street's slide was led by health care stocks. Investors fear the potential impact on profits from reform ideas being discussed in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail.

Qualcomm led gains in the technology sector. Intel climbed after pulling out of the smartphone modem market. T-Mobile and Sprint slumped on reports the Justice Department is questioning their proposed merger.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.4 per cent to 3,250.03 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 per cent to 22,177.75.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.5 per cent to 29,972.74 and Seoul's Kospi retreated 0.9 per cent to 2,225.77.

Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 gained 2 points to 6,259.50. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia rose, reports AP.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to 2,900.45 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost less than 0.1 per cent to 26,449.54. The Nasdaq composite slid 0.1 per cent to 7,996.08.

American investors are poring over company results this week, focusing on profit and revenue outlooks. Analysts expect the first quarter results for S&P 500 companies overall to be the weakest in nearly three years.

Benchmark US crude lost 8 cents to $63.68 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 29 cents on Wednesday to close at $63.76.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, sank 19 cents to $71.43 per barrel in London. It declined 10 cents the previous session to $71.62.

The dollar declined to 111.94 yen from Wednesday's 112.05 yen. The euro edged down to $1.1295 from $1.1299.

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