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Asia bourses retreat as Wall Street slips off highs

Tuesday 02:10 GMT


Stocks around Asia were on the back foot after Wall Street fell back from record highs while the dollar softened and oil prices struggled to extend gains.

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China has popped back on to investor radars, with mainland stocks falling on Monday by the most in months in the wake of authorities ramping up efforts to crack down on risky equities investments.

On Tuesday there was better news in the form of economic data. None of the readings on industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment for November decreased from the prior month or fell short of economists’ expectations — in most cases, they improved.

The Shanghai Composite was off 0.4 per cent, after a 2.5 per cent drop on Monday, while the Shenzhen slipped another 0.2 per cent after dropping 4.9 per cent the previous day.


The US dollar index was on track for back-to-back declines, down 0.1 per cent in Asia at 101 following a 0.6 per cent decline the previous session. That saw the Japanese yen gain ground on Monday, although it has given nearly half of that back and was 0.1 per cent weaker at ¥115.13 per dollar on Tuesday.


The yen’s waxing and waning on the direction of the dollar kept Japanese stocks broadly in check, particularly the export-heavy Nikkei 225, which was down 0.2 per cent. The broader Topix benchmark was fractionally lower. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was fractionally higher while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.2 per cent.

In New York, the S&P 500 closed down 0.1 per cent, after touching a record intraday high of 2,264.03, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.6 per cent.


Oil prices were mixed after Monday’s strong gains following a weekend agreement by non-Opec members to cut production. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 0.2 per cent at $55.81 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate slipped 0.1 per cent to $52.78.

Gold was up 0.1 per cent at $1,163.16 an ounce.

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