Asian shares fall after weak earnings pull Wall St lower
BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares were mostly lower on Thursday after Wall Street benchmarks fell, reversing course after two days of gains.
Wall Street futures were lower while oil prices were mixed.
The pullback Wednesday came as investors reviewed quarterly earnings reports and Treasury yields climbed to multiyear highs, tempting traders with higher returns on relatively low-risk investments.
Asia tracked those losses.
Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 1.1% to 26,954.15 while the Kospi in Seoul declined 1.3% to 2,208.48. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng shed 1.9% to 16,194.09.
The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1% lower to 3,042.98 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up 1.1% to 6,724.70.
Early gains Wednesday on Wall Street faded fast. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% to close at 3,695.16, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.3% to 30,423.81. The Nasdaq composite ended 0.9% lower, at 10,680.51.
Small companies fell more than the rest of the market, sending the Russell 2000 index 1.7% lower to 1,725.76.
Stocks were coming off of two days of gains, but trading has been unsteady throughout.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, climbed to 4.13%, its highest level since June 2008. It was at 4.02% late Tuesday. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which tends to track expectations for future Federal Reserve action, rose to 4.54% from 4.43%.
A sharp move in the three-month Treasury may have helped put traders in a selling mood. The yield briefly hit 4.01% before inching back to 3.98%. Should the three-month Treasury yield rise above that of the 10-year Treasury, what’s known as an inversion, that would be a strong warning that the economy could be headed for a recession.
The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates to temper high prices. Those increases are meant to make borrowing more difficult and slow economic growth in an effort to tame inflation, but the strategy risks stalling the already slowing U.S. economy.
Homebuilders and other housing industry-related companies fell Wednesday following a report showing that construction on new homes declined more than expected in September. Homebuilder Lennar fell 6% and home-improvement retailer Lowe’s slid 4.8%.
U.S. crude oil prices rose 3.3%, giving a boost to energy stocks. Exxon Mobil rose 3%. The White House plans to announce another release of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve.
Early Thursday, U.S. benchmark crude was up 53 cents at $86.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude, the international pricing standard, shed 12 cents to $92.29 per barrel.
Investors have been focusing on the latest round of corporate earnings this week, watching for clues about how companies are dealing with the hottest inflation in four decades and how they intend to operate through the rest of the year and into 2023.
Household goods giant Procter & Gamble rose 0.9% after also reporting strong financial results. It joined a growing list of companies, including Hasbro and Johnson & Johnson, warning investors about a strong U.S. dollar cutting into revenue. A strong dollar decreases the value of overseas sales after converting the currency. The U.S. currency is now worth more than a euro for the first time in 20 years.
The dollar has gained strength versus currencies worldwide as inflation and recession concerns prompt investors to look for relatively stable investments. Central governments and banks worldwide are dealing with stubbornly hot inflation. British food prices rose at the fastest pace since 1980 last month, driving inflation back to a 40-year high.
Early Thursday, the dollar was at 149.93 Japanese yen, up from 149.81 yen. The euro slipped to 97.59 cents from 97.73 cents.
AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga contributed.
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