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Asian shares slip as Wall St records streak ends

Markets sank in Asian trade on Thursday as Wall Street's record-breaking streak came to an end, while Tokyo was hit by a stronger yen as investors looked ahead to a Bank of Japan policy meeting.

HONG KONG: Markets sank in Asian trade on Thursday as Wall Street's record-breaking streak came to an end, while Tokyo was hit by a stronger yen as investors looked ahead to a Bank of Japan policy meeting.

Tokyo lost 0.64 per cent, or 95.95 points, to finish at 14,973.53 and Sydney fell 0.46 per cent, or 25.19 points, to 5,428.8, while Seoul eased 0.15 per cent, or 3.02 points, to 2,011.65.

Hong Kong slipped 0.35 per cent, or 82.27 points, to 23,175.02 and Shanghai eased 0.16 per cent, or 3.24 points, to 2,051.71.

Investors stepped back after global markets enjoyed a rally at the start of the week in response to upbeat data from the United States, China and Japan.

While there was a certain amount of profit-taking, analysts suggested some of the losses could be attributed to the World Bank's decision to trim its 2014 global growth forecast to 2.8 per cent from a January estimate of 3.2 per cent.

Regional dealers were given a negative lead from New York, where all three main indexes ended lower.

The Dow snapped a four-day streak of all-time highs, closing down 0.60 per cent to 16,843.88. The S&P 500 fell 0.35 per cent, and the Nasdaq eased 0.14 per cent.

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, said the World Bank report "sent a sorry signal to investors".

He also cited the surprise defeat of House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Virginia primary battle to a Tea Party-backed candidate. Cantor "was one of the biggest friends of Wall Street and the election of somebody openly antagonistic to Wall Street" sparked worries, Ablin said.

Japan's Nikkei led Thursday's retreat in Asia as the yen held on to its New York gains against the dollar.

In the afternoon, the greenback was worth 102.07 yen, against 102.03 yen late in New York afternoon. This is well down from 102.27 yen in Tokyo earlier Wednesday.

The euro bought $1.3528 and 138.10 yen compared with $1.3532 and 138.06 yen.

SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities Hiroichi Nishi said the Nikkei "continues to look top-heavy at 15,000, and will consolidate, pushed down by the dollar's weakness".

On oil markets, the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for July delivery, rose 89 cents to $105.29 while Brent crude for July gained $1.13 cents to $111.08.

Gold fetched $1,261.19 an ounce at 0805 GMT compared with $1,262.40 late Wednesday.

In other markets:

-- Taipei fell 0.27 per cent, or 25.15 points, to 9,204.65.

Taiwan Semiconductor manufacturing Co. lost 1.2 per cent to T$123.5 while Hon Hai was 1.07 per cent lower at T$93.4.

-- Wellington closed up 0.31 per cent, or 15.96 points, at 5,195.11.

Air New Zealand added 1.79 per cent to NZ$2.27 and Telecom was up 1.12 per cent at NZ$2.715.

-- Bangkok dropped 0.46 per cent, or 6.69 points, to close at 1,457.02

Bangkok Bank shed 1.53 per cent or 3.00 baht to close at 193.50 baht, and PTT Plc fell 1.67 per cent or 5.00 baht to 294.00 baht.

-- Jakarta ended down 0.76 per cent, or 37.54 points, at 4,934.41.

Bank Permata gained 0.38 per cent to 1,335 rupiah, while state miner Aneka Tambang slipped 2.58 per cent to 1,135 rupiah.

-- Kuala Lumpur fell 0.25 per cent, or 4.51 points, to 1,873.87.

Utility Tenaga Nasional lost 1.0 per cent to 11.66 ringgit, while Telekom Malaysia shed 1.1 per cent to 6.19. Public Bank gained 0.3 per cent to 20.84 ringgit.

-- Singapore edged up 0.09 per cent, or 2.97 points, to 3,293.01.

Singapore Airlines inched ahead 0.09 per cent to S$10.62 while real estate developer CapitaLand gained 0.31 per cent to S$3.24.

-- Mumbai rose 0.40 per cent, or 102.32 points, to 25,576.21 points.

Rating agency Crisil climbed 9.77 per cent to 1,560.05 rupees, while Godrej Industries rose 6.37 per cent to 345.00 rupees.

-- Manila was closed for a public holiday.

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