Financial news

Asian shares mixed after US stocks retreat from record highs

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Via AP Business

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed Thursday, with the Shanghai benchmark sharply lower, after U.S. stocks gave back some gains from Tuesday’s rally on Wall Street.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.5% to 22,307.58. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5% to 2,190.50. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 0.5% to 29,645.87, while the Shanghai Composite plunged 2.3% to 3,126.17. Australia’s markets were closed for Anzac Day, a national holiday. Shares were mixed in Southeast Asia and slightly higher in Taiwan.

Investors in China appeared discouraged by signs the central bank plans to avoid major stimulus moves as regulators work to counter a slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy.

Markets are awaiting U.S. economic growth data, due to be released later in the week.

On Wall Street, energy stocks led a modest slide as crude oil prices retreated after a three-day rally. Communications companies also helped pull the market lower, offsetting gains in real estate and other sectors. Bond prices rose as traders took a more defensive approach.

Stocks wavered between small gains and losses through much of the day as investors continued to wade through a steady flow of corporate earnings.

The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% to 2,927.25. The benchmark index closed at a record high on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2% to 26,597.05. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.2% to 8,102.01. It also was coming off a record high close.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 13 cents to $66.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 0.6% to settle at $65.89 per barrel. Oil has been climbing recently since dropping below $43 in late December. Brent crude gained 35 cents to $74.92 per barrel.

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CURRENCIES: The dollar was flat at 111.85 Japanese yen. The euro weakened to $1.1153 from $1.1206.

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AP Business Writers Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise contributed to this report.

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