Asian stocks fell on Thursday after a retreat to Wall Street, as banks and healthcare companies pulled the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average from their latest highs.
Shares fell in all major regional markets and oil prices fell as well.
In Seoul, the Kospi edged down 0.1% to 3,024.04, even Samsung Electronics posting its highest quarterly profit in three years on continued strong demand for its computer memory chips.
Samsung’s dual strength in parts and finished products has allowed it to thrive during the pandemic as millions of people have been forced to work from home. However, the company said it was facing “longer than expected” component shortages that could affect semiconductor demand in the current quarter.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.9% to 28,825.62. The Bank of Japan was expected to keep monetary policy unchanged at a policy meeting that ends on Thursday.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 0.3% to 25,550.84, while the Shanghai Composite index fell 1% to 3,528.63. The S & P / ASX 200 lost 0.5% to 7,408.40.
The coronavirus outbreak cases in China and Singapore were adding to the general unease about the economic outlook, given signs that inflationary trends could cause central banks to accelerate monetary policy tightening.
In New York, investors were focused on a mixed batch of profits from various well-known companies including Microsoft, General Motors and Coca-Cola.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.5% to 4,551.68. More than three-quarters of the companies in the benchmark fell, with financials, health care and industrials accounting for most of the decline. Those losses offset gains in stocks in communications services and a mix of businesses that rely on consumer spending.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.7% to 35,490.69. He and the S&P 500 had both set records the day before.
Most of the blue-chip index stocks were in the red, dominated by Visa, which fell 6.9% per day after posting strong quarterly results.
The Nasdaq rose less than 0.1% to 15,235.84, and the Russell 2000 Small Business Index suffered the biggest losses, falling 1.9% to 2,252.49.
Long-term bond yields have fallen dramatically and weighed on banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.53% from 1.61% on Tuesday night. It was stable at 1.55% early Thursday.
The 30-year Treasury yield fell below 2% for the first time in a month to 1.96%, even as yields on shorter-term U.S. bonds, like the 2-year Treasury bill, rose .
Crude oil prices in the United States fell 2.4% and pushed energy stocks lower. Exxon Mobil fell 2.6%.
US benchmark crude fell $ 1.86 to $ 80.80 per barrel. Brent crude, the basis of international pricing, fell $ 2.12 to $ 81.75 a barrel.
The constant stream of corporate newsletters will continue on Thursday with industry barometer Caterpillar and tech giant Apple. Amazon and Starbucks will also release their results on Thursday.
Outside of earnings, investors will receive an update on US economic growth when the Commerce Department releases its third quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.
Rising inflation remains a major concern for investors watching earnings and the impact of supply chain issues and higher prices on businesses and consumers. Investors are also eagerly awaiting the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week to see how it moves forward with its plans to cut bond purchases and its position on interest rates.
The central bank said inflation would prove to be “transient” and linked to the economic recovery, although it was more persistent than initially expected.
In other trades, the dollar fell to 113.62 Japanese yen from 113.83 yen. The euro went from $ 1.1603 to $ 1.1609.
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