Channel NewsAsia

Asian shares down after Wall St losses

Asian markets were mostly lower on Friday following losses on Wall Street fuelled by anaemic US consumer spending, while the dollar and euro extended losses against the yen.

HONG KONG: Asian markets were mostly lower on Friday following losses on Wall Street fuelled by anaemic US consumer spending, while the dollar and euro extended losses against the yen.

Investors were taking a breather ahead of the release next week of key economic data, including on global manufacturing activity, US jobs and Japanese business confidence.

Tokyo fell 1.39 percent or 213.49 points to 15,095.00 as the strong yen hit exporters, Sydney dropped 0.35 percent or 19.2 points to close at 5,445.1 and Seoul slipped 0.33 percent or 6.54 points to 1,988.51.

Shanghai closed 0.11 percent lower, giving up 2.17 points to 2,036.51 but Hong Kong reversed earlier losses to finish 0.10 percent higher, adding 23.69 points to 23,221.52.

In New York the three main indexes ended lower on Thursday after the government released figures showing consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose just 0.2 percent in May after a flat April.

The figures came a day after news that the economy shrank a lot more than first thought in January-March, leading to worries that a recovery is still fragile.

The Dow eased 0.13 percent and the S&P 500 dipped 0.12 percent, having both touched record highs at the end of last week. The Nasdaq was flat.

On currency markets the dollar, which sank in New York after the weak spending data, fell further in Tokyo.

The greenback bought 101.42 yen compared with 101.70 yen in New York and 101.79 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday.

The euro also dropped, buying 138.16 yen, down from 138.42 in US trade and well off the 138.78 yen Thursday in Asia. The single currency was at $1.3619 against $1.3609.

Oil prices -- which have been sitting at nine-month highs because of the Iraq crisis -- edged higher.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up five cents at $105.89, while Brent crude added seven cents to $113.28.

Gold fetched $1,316.77 an ounce at 0813 GMT compared with $1,312.60 late Wednesday.

In other markets:

-- Bangkok added 0.39 percent or 5.76 points to close at 1,483.24.

-- Jakarta slipped 0.56 percent, or 27.29 points, to 4,845.13.

-- Kuala Lumpur fell 0.48 percent, or 9.04 points, to 1,880.93.

-- Manila closed 0.73 percent lower, easing 50.03 points to 6,842.15.

-- Mumbai rose 0.15 percent or 37.25 points to 25,099.92.

-- Singapore rose 0.23 percent, or 7.52 points, to 3,271.05.

-- Taipei fell 0.15 percent, or 14.11 points, to 9,306.83.

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