SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday as a weak lead from Wall Street and disappointing earnings reports dented investor sentiment.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped 0.1 percent to 18,530.65 while South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.5 percent to 2,032.59. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.8 percent to 22,790.35 and China's Shanghai Composite index was nearly unchanged at 3,321.34. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.1 percent to 5,240.80.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "The weak performance on the Wall Street in the overnight session, coupled with a decline in Chinese stocks yesterday, should make investors in Asia rather nervous," said Bernard Aw, analyst at IG in Singapore. Aw said even as Chinese authorities have been pumping in liquidity in the financial system, "this cash injection may not reach large Chinese corporations facing problems in debt repayments."
SAMSUNG DIVES: Shares of Samsung Engineering traded nearly 17 percent lower in Seoul after diving as much as 24 percent following its announcement of a quarterly net loss of 1.3 trillion won ($1.14 billion) for the July-September quarter. The engineering company with a market value of about 1.1 trillion won said it will sell 1.2 trillion won of new shares to improve its financial status and seek to sell its headquarters building worth 350 billion won ($308 million). Samsung SDI, the biggest shareholder in Samsung Engineering, plunged about 4 percent and Samsung Heavy Industries, another Samsung affiliated company, sank nearly 5 percent.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished in the red on Wednesday with Yahoo slumping more than 5 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.3 percent to 17,168.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.6 percent to 2,018.94. The Nasdaq composite slid 0.8 percent to 4,840.12.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 24 cents to $45.42 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.09 to close at $45.20 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 26 cents to $48.11 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The euro gained to $1.135 from $1.134 while the dollar rose to 119.91 yen from 119.90 yen.