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

TOKYO (AP) — Asian markets fell Wednesday, following pessimism on Wall Street, amid disappointing earnings news from the U.S. and lingering doubts about the direction of oil prices.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.5 percent to 16,932.77 in morning trading, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent to 5,460.10. South Korea’s Kospi inched up less than 0.1 percent to 2,032.99. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.6 percent to 23,400.19. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.3 percent to 3,055.37.

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

THE QUOTE: “Equities meanwhile were hit with a double whammy. Fed hike expectations coupled with softer oil prices brought the S&P 500 index to a loss,” says Jingyi Pan, markets strategist at IG in Singapore. “The oil story is still developing with traders now casting doubts over the Russia’s commitment.”

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 7 cents to $50.86 a barrel in New York. Brent, the international standard, added 19 cents to $52.60 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 103.52 yen from 103.94 late Tuesday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1049 from $1.1128.

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