Investing.com - Asian stock markets declined on Wednesday,
tracking overnight losses on Wall Street, with shares in Japan
coming under pressure as the yen strengthened against the U.S.
dollar, weighing on sentiment.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 1.5%,
Australia's ASX/200 Index ended down 0.77%, while Japan's Nikkei
225 Index closed 0.62% lower. Asia was given a negative lead from
the U.S., where Wall Street closed lower amid speculation over when
the Federal Reserve will start to roll back its stimulus program.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei ended lower for the second consecutive session
as investors continued to monitor movements in the currency market.
USD/JPY fell to hit a session low of 102.47, moving off Tuesday's
high of 103.38. A stronger yen reduces the value of overseas income
at Japanese companies when repatriated, dampening the outlook for
Automakers Nissan and Mazda saw shares fall 1.45% and 1.05%
respectively, while Olympus dropped 2.4%.
Japanese megabanks were also lower with shares of the nation's
largest lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group slumping 1.1%, while
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Nomura Holdings dipped 0.6% and
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped to a three-week low
as shares in the financial sector were lower after news that
China's four state-owned banks and a former state policy bank will
issue a total of CNY19 billion worth of negotiable certificates of
China Construction Bank shares dropped 2.4%, Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China lost 2.5% and Agricultural Bank of China
Index heavyweight HSBC Holdings saw shares decline 0.9% after the
lender agreed to sell its 8% stake in Bank of Shanghai to Spain's
Banco Santander. Shares of HSBC command a 15% weighting on the Hong
Kong benchmark, making it the single largest constituent on the
Elsewhere, in Australia, the ASX/200 Index fell to the lowest level
since August 30 as losses in the financial sector weighed on the
The big four banks were all lower, with National Australia Bank
dropping 0.9%, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac
Banking Group retreated 1% apiece.
Looking ahead, European stock market futures pointed to a modestly
The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a loss of 0.2% at the open,
France's CAC 40 futures shed 0.15%, London's FTSE 100 futures
indicated a decline of 0.2%, while Germany's DAX futures pointed to
a loss of 0.3%.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., equity markets also pointed to mild losses
at the open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a
0.15% decline, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.15% drop, while the
Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a loss of 0.2%.
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