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Asian stocks slip following record Wall Street charge

Asian stocks slip following record Wall Street charge
Business
SINGAPORE -- Asian stocks slipped Thursday following a charge on Wall Street that drove indices to all-time highs for the second straight day.

Japan s benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.1% to 27,742.29 and Hong Kong s Hang Seng gave up 1.6% to 25,293.14. The Shanghai Composite was down 1% at 3,504.49 in afternoon trading.

Australia s S&P/ASX 200 retreated 0.5% to 7,491.20. The Kospi in South Korea lost 0.6% to 3,129.51 after the country s central bank raised its policy rate by 25 basis points, in a move that could quell rising household debt.

Shares rose in India, Singapore and Malaysia but fell in Indonesia.

Investors are awaiting more clarity on Chinese regulatory reforms and their impact on the technology sector.

Chinese technology stocks had rallied earlier this week as a share buyback by games and social media giant Tencent Holding Ltd. boosted sentiment. The firm s Hong Kong-listed shares fell 0.7% on Thursday.

"After some renewed sentiments brought about by bottom-fishing from institutional investors and Tencent s share buyback, investors may seem to be on hold for now as they look towards further clarity on the regulatory reforms, which is unlikely to conclude in the near term," Yeap Jun Rong of IG said.

They are also looking toward the Federal Reserve s annual convention in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which begins Thursday. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at the convention on Friday.

Investors are betting that Fed officials will remain in a "wait and see" mode regarding inflation, since most policymakers believe any inflation earlier this year would be temporary and the rise in COVID-19 cases has made some economists worried.

"Fact is, markets dig perceptions of Jackson Hole shifting from a harbinger of tightening to assurance of digging in on accommodation as global economies digs out of the pandemic," said Venkateswaran Lavanya of Mizuho Bank.

Over on Wall Street on Wednesday, financial and energy companies led the S&P 500 to another all-time high. The benchmark edged up 0.2% to close at 4,496.19 on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 35,405.50. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq gained 0.2% to 15,041.86, which was also an all-time high.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude shed 31 cents to $68.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used as the price basis for international oils, dropped 18 cents to $72.07.
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