Asian shares fall after US stumble, eying China trade talk

A man walks past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a Hong Kong local bank Thursday, March 28, 2019. Asian shares were mostly lower Thursday, following a slip on Wall Street, as investors watched the continuing trade talks between the U.S. and China.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
People walk past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index outside a Hong Kong local bank Thursday, March 28, 2019. Asian shares were mostly lower Thursday, following a slip on Wall Street, as investors watched the continuing trade talks between the U.S. and China.(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

TOKYO — Asian shares were mostly lower Thursday, following a slip on Wall Street, as investors watched the continuing trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1.5 percent in early trading to 21,049.94, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 recouped earlier losses to be up 0.3 percent at 6,154.50. South Korea's Kospi fell nearly 0.7 percent to 2,131.67. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was little changed but slightly lower at 28,709.14, while the Shanghai Composite was also down less than 0.1 percent at 3,021.62.

Technology and health care companies drove a broad slide in U.S. stocks Wednesday, erasing some of the market's solid gains from a day earlier. The sell-off put the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to end the month with a loss and marked the second drop for the benchmark S&P 500 index this week.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note continued to decline, raising some fears about a possible recession within the coming year.

The S&P 500 dropped 13.09 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,805.37. The Dow slid 32.14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,625.59. The Nasdaq composite lost 48.15 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,643.38. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gave up 5.93 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,522.23.

Investors are still waiting to see how the U.S. and China will resolve their costly trade dispute, with high-level talks between Washington and Beijing scheduled to resume.

The Trump administration and Chinese officials are about to hold their eighth round of trade talks in Beijing with several tough issues unresolved, including a timetable for lifting tariffs and a way to enforce any agreement.

Many analysts say they expect some limited agreement to be reached in the coming weeks or months. Yet it's unclear how far any accord would go.

ENERGY:

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 22 cents to $59.19 a barrel. It fell 0.9 percent to settle at $59.41 a barrel Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, edged down 20 cents to $67.04 a barrel.

CURRENCIES:

The dollar inched down to 110.21 yen from 110.29 yen. The euro fell to $1.1255 from $1.1275.

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AP Business Writer Alex Vega contributed to this report.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en

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