Asian stocks dip taking cue from Wall Street, doubts on oil

TOKYO - Asian markets fell Wednesday, after a dismal day on Wall Street marked by disappointing earnings news and lingering doubts about the direction of oil prices.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.1 per cent to finish at 16,840.00, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 per cent to 5,474.60. South Korea's Kospi inched up 0.1 per cent to 2,034.71. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 1.1 per cent to 23,299.40. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.5 per cent to 3,051.33.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200.38 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 18,128.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 26.93 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 2,136.73. The Nasdaq composite index slid 81.89 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 5,246.79.

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS: Shares in Samsung, which plunged 8 per cent the day before, recovered somewhat and closed down 1 per cent. South Korea's biggest manufacturer is struggling with a recall of its premium smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, which has proven prone to catch fire.

THE QUOTE: "After resisting the sell-off in bonds and rising yields for nearly two weeks, U.S. equity markets finally bowed to pressure last night, dropping below the recent trading range," Ric Spooner, chief market analyst for CMC Markets, said in a commentary. "Stock markets are becoming nervous about the prospect of rising interest rates against a background of moderate profit growth and relatively high valuations, particularly in the U.S."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 15 cents to $50.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 56 cents to 50.79 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 22 cents to $52.63 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 103.63 yen from 103.94 late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1054 from $1.1128.

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