Asian stocks sank Wednesday after Wall Street declined on losses for tech and health care companies.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent to 2,737.63 and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.3 percent to 22,631.17. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1 percent to 27,683.34 and Seoul’s Kospi retreated 1 percent to 2,313.26. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.8 percent to 6,243.70 and benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and Southeast Asia also retreated.
WALL STREET: Drugmakers and big technology companies including Facebook and Google parent Alphabet slumped. Banks rose on higher interest rates. Nike declined after it gave an endorsement deal to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, known for his protests of police brutality and racial injustice. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 0.2 percent to 2,896.72. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 12 points to 25,952.48. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.2 percent to 8,091.25.
ANALYST’S TAKE: Stocks “bear the brunt of fears over trade tensions,” including “more difficult” NAFTA talks and U.S.-Chinese disputes, said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. “Momentum can certainly be seen waning” in the S&P 500, and improvement would require a “good turn in U.S. trade relations,” she said.
AMAZON: The online retailer became the third publicly traded company and the second in the United States to reach $1 trillion in market value following Apple Inc. Amazon has risen from an online bookseller to a behemoth that sells toilet paper, TVs and a wide range of other goods. It is expanding into health care, advertising and cloud computing. The net worth of its founder, Jeff Bezos, has risen to $160 billion. The Chinese oil company PetroChina Ltd. temporarily had a stock market value of $1 trillion in 2007 but has fallen sharply since then.
TRADE TENSIONS: The United States is due to resume talks with Canada on changing the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Trump administration is poised to impose new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods as early as this week.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 43 cents to $69.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 7 cents on Tuesday to close at $69.87. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 23 cents to $77.94 per barrel in London. It gained 2 cents the previous session to $78.17.
CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 111.53 yen from Tuesday’s 111.40 yen. The euro advanced to $1.1605 from $1.1582.