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Most Asian markets drop; North Korean threat rattles South Korea but few others

Most Asian markets drop; North Korean threat rattles South Korea but few others

Most Asian markets declined Wednesday as Tokyo stocks were hurt by selling in commodity-related stocks amid a drop in oil prices.
North Korean threats to conduct a nuclear test hit South Korean shares, but most other markets seemed unaffected.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 159.54 points, or 0.98 percent, to finish at 16,082.55.
"Oil and metal stocks were obvious candidates to get sold off. Combine that with heavy futures selling and we got a sharp decline," said Motomi Hiratsuka, head of portfolio trading at BNP Paribas in Tokyo.
Oil prices have tumbled about 25 percent in the last two months, settling Tuesday at a seven-month low of US$58.68.
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. fell 5.29 percent and Mitsui & Co. sank 5.53 percent.
Electronics issues also fell, with Sony Corp. losing 3.26 percent, and Internet services company Softbank Corp. declining 0.62 percent.
Nintendo Co. rose 3.31 percent after the Kyoto-based company lifted its fiscal year group net profit outlook and year-end dividend plan the previous day due to strong game sales and a weaker yen.
In Hong Kong, shares edged up Wednesday as traders bought Chinese computer maker Lenovo and China Mobile. The blue-chip Hang Seng Index rose 22.68 points, or 0.13 percent, to 17,629.21.
Lenovo surged 3.9 percent and China Mobile jumped 1.9 percent.
Among losers, Chinese oil company CNOOC plunged 3.6 percent amid falling oil prices.
In currency trading, the U.S. market gained against the euro and the Japanese yen.
The greenback bought 117.98 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday, up from 117.89 yen from late Tuesday in New York. The euro fell to US$1.2716 from US$1.2727.
Elsewhere:
BANGKOK: Thai shares advanced 0.9 percent to 687.96, led by blue chips' late rallies.
JAKARTA: Indonesian shares inched down 0.62 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,537.08.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares retreated in thin trading. with the lack of economic catalysts keeping investors sidelined. The benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index slipped 0.4 percent to 964.06 points.
MANILA: Philippine shares slid for a third day on lingering concerns over the economic costs wrought by last week's typhoon. The benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 1.4 percent to 2,486.82.
MUMBAI: Indian shares fell 162.38 points, or 1.3 percent, to 12,204.01.
SEOUL: South Korean shares fell after North Korea said its plans to conduct a nuclear test. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, dropped 1.6 percent to 1,352.00.
SINGAPORE: Singapore shares were boosted by lower oil prices and a record high finish for the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the U.S. The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 9.7 points, or 0.4 percent to 2,602.9.
SYDNEY: Australia's share market ended a seven-day winning streak with falling commodity prices pushing resource and energy stocks lower. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 41.63 points to 5,142.7, while the All Ordinaries dropped 39.67 to 5,101.5.
TAIPEI: Taiwan's shares retreated 81.90 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,874.98.
WELLINGTON: New Zealand shares were weighed down by the lack of corporate news and uncertainty about market heavyweight Telecom. The NZX-50 index dipped 0.2 percent to 3,593.39.
The stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen were closed.


Updated : 2021-04-21 01:42 GMT+08:00