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Asian stocks slide amid caution, China off 2.5 pct

 A woman walks in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock ave...

Japan Markets

A woman walks in front of the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock ave...

Asian stocks dropped Tuesday, with China's main index tumbling about 2.5 percent, as investors tread cautiously after a series of gains and looked for more signs of economic recovery.
The selling came after the region advanced for three straight days and showed just how volatile the markets have become as investors try to determine if this year's rally has more momentum given the world economy's fragile state. Crude oil prices slipped below $74 a barrel and the dollar fell against the yen.
Shanghai shares retreated as investors digested comments from Premier Wen Jiabao, the country's top economic official, that China faced new problems and Beijing will keep up its stimulus measures because the recovery lacked a solid foundation.
Analysts said volumes were thin and trade volatile, signs of uncertainty about the market's near-term path.
"The sentiment is changing constantly right now because many investors are still worried if the liquidity and fundamentals still support these prices," said Linus Yip, a strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. "There's a lack of confidence and direction."
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average lost 83.69 points, or 0.8 percent, to 10,497.36.
The Shanghai Composite Index slid as much as 5 percent at one point before erasing losses. By midafternoon, it was down 80.96, or 2.7 percent, at 2,912.31, though the decline didn't sending regional markets tumbling like they did last week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 1.1 percent at 20,302.64.
South Korea's Kospi lost 0.5 percent, Taiwan's market edged down 0.4 percent and India's Sensex was up 0.2 percent.
Trade was lackluster overnight in the U.S.
The Dow Jones index rose 3.32, or less than 0.1 percent, to 9,509.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.56, or 0.1 percent, to 1,025.57, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 2.92, or 0.1 percent, to 2,017.98.
Wall Street futures suggested a weak opening Tuesday. Dow futures were down 21 points, or 0.2 percent, at 9,472.
Crude oil prices fell in Asia trade, with the benchmark crude for October delivery down 63 cents at $73.74. The contract gained 48 cents overnight.
The dollar weakened to 94.02 yen from 94.48 yen. The euro was little changed at $1.4300.


Updated : 2021-05-13 14:54 GMT+08:00