Asian shares continue decline in early trade

AP News
Posted: Feb 27, 2011 9:53 PM
Asian shares continue decline in early trade

Asian shares fell in early trading Monday, continuing a trend from last week that saw political turmoil in Libya pull global indexes lower.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average fell 0.6 percent to 10,467.8. The yen showed renewed strength, which can hurt exporters, and government data showed industrial production for January was below forecasts.

South Korea's Kospi index was down 1.1 percent at 1,941.43, and Australia's main S&P/ASX 200 was off 0.3 percent at 4,820.66. Major stock averages in Singapore and the Philippines were also lower.

Shares in New Zealand, where a major earthquake devastated Christchurch last week, were higher, bucking the trend.

The falls came after rises on Wall Street on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 percent to 12,130.45, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 1.1 percent at 1,319.88.

Both indexes were still down last week overall, largely due to concerns over fighting in Libya and the effect on oil prices.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 81.69 yen versus 81.63 yen late Friday. The euro was slightly lower, at $1.3731 from $1.3748.