Asian share prices lower as Wall Street rally fades

In Photo: A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo on January 10.

TOKYO—Share prices were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday as the afterglow from Wall Street’s extended winning streak faded. Chinese shares were buoyed by surging oil prices.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.3 percent to 23,788.20, and the Kospi in South Korea lost 0.3 percent to 2,501.72. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 slipped 0.6 percent to 6,096.70. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong climbed 0.3 percent, shedding some morning gains, to 31,097.41 and the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.3 percent to 3,405.44. Shares fell in Taiwan and were mixed in Southeast Asia.

Stocks pushed further into record territory on Tuesday, with health-care stocks and banks leading the gains. The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 2,751.29 to equal its longest winning streak leading off a year since 2010. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4 percent to 25,385.80 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.1 percent to 7,163.58. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks slipped 0.1 percent to 1,560.10.

“The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices brought us fresh highs once again on Tuesday, though the carry through to Asian markets may be limited by caution ahead,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

China reported that its consumer price index edged up to 1.8 percent last December from 1.7 percent the month before, driven by higher food prices. But broader gauges showed price pressures easing. “Looking ahead, we think that food prices aside, inflation will continue to drop back in the coming quarters as economic activity softens,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said.

The dollar fell to ¥112.31, from ¥112.65 late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.1931, from $1.1938, and the British pound dipped to $1.3520, from $1.3540.

Benchmark US crude oil rose 49 cents to $63.45 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.23 to settle at $62.96 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 34 cents to $69.16 per barrel. It rose $1.04 to settle at $68.82 per barrel in London.

Image Credits: AP

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