Asian shares decline on softer Wall Street lead; dollar holds onto overnight gains

Asian indexes traded lower Tuesday, tracking declines seen on Wall Street in the previous session.

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 1.55 percent in the afternoon. Early gains seen in automaker stocks were erased as the session wore on: Toyota was off by 0.33 percent percent and Honda declined 0.66 percent.

Technology names were mostly lower, with heavyweight SoftBank Group falling 1.74 percent and Sony losing 1.78 percent.

Trading houses and energy-related names also traded in negative territory, although several manufacturing names proved to be bright spots: Komatsu and Hitachi Construction Machinery were up 2.22 percent and 5.46 percent, respectively.

Data released earlier in the day showed that retail sales last month rose 3.6 percent compared to one year ago, above the 1.8 percent median projected rise, Reuters said. Retail stocks were lower, with heavyweight Fast Retailing declining 2.04 percent.

Apple suppliers in the region took a hit following the tech giant’s overnight tumble, which came on the back of a Nikkei report about a reported reduction in iPhone X production. In Japan, Japan Display declined 1.65 percent although Sharp held above the flat line, gaining 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s AAC Technologies and Sunny Optical were down 1.6 percent and 1.12 percent, respectively.

Over in Seoul, the Kospi declined 1.07 percent after rising nearly 1 percent to notch a record close in the previous session. Technology stocks traded mostly lower, weighing on the broader index. Blue chip Samsung Electronics sank 2.23 percent ahead of its earnings report due Wednesday and SK Hynix declined 2.79 percent.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was lower by 0.9 percent on broad-based weakness across sectors. The heavily-weighted financials sector was in negative territory and mining names were mostly lower.

Gold producers were mixed after several names reported production numbers for the second quarter. Newcrest Mining declined 1.54 percent and Evolution Mining reversed early losses to edge up by 0.36 percent.

Greater China markets also traded lower after sliding in the afternoon in the previous session on profit taking. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.83 percent, with gains in some property developers offset by losses in energy-linked stocks and tech names. Financials were mostly lower: HSBC slipped 0.65 percent, but insurer AIA rose 1.07 percent.

On the mainland, the Shanghai composite edged down by 0.74 percent and the Shenzhen composite slipped 0.42 percent.

U.S. stocks closed lower, with the Dow Jones industrial average declining 177.23 points to close at 26,439.48. That came as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose above 2.7 percent, its highest levels since April 2014. The rise in bond rates this year has been driven by concerns over higher inflation.

“There were no major news behind the move higher in yields, but given the recent break of key resistance levels, core yields now have more freedom to move higher,” Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note.

Major indexes stateside had closed at record highs last week on the back of upbeat corporate earnings. As of Monday morning, 78 percent of S&P 500 companies that have announced results have topped earnings expectations, according to FactSet.

The dollar was steady against a basket currencies after moving higher following the rise in bond yields overnight. The dollar index stood at 89.379 at 12:32 p.m. HK/SIN. Against the yen, the U.S. currency traded at 108.76 after earlier climbing as high as 109.20.

The euro edged lower to trade at $1.2374 after slipping as low as $1.2335 in the previous session.

On the commodities front, oil prices declined further after settling lower on Monday on the firmer dollar. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.75 percent to trade at $65.07 per barrel. Brent crude futures shed 0.5 percent to trade at $69.11.

Shares of Wanda Hotel Development surged 27.41 percent. The move higher came after news that several investors, including Tencent, are preparing to buy a 14 percent stake in a commercial real estate unit of Dalian Wanda Group, Reuters reported.

Hong Kong-listed Ping An Insurance announced in a Monday filing that its application to spin-off its health care and technology unit had been approved by the Hong Kong Exchange. The company said the application proof of the unit’s prospectus will be made available Jan. 30. Shares of Ping An were off by 0.33 percent. Source: CNBC

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