BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks fell Friday after Wall Street broke a three-day winning streak and declined.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.7 percent to 21,471.71 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 2,949.30. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 17,368.76. Seoul's Kospi retreated 0.3 percent to 2,015.42 and Sydney's S&P ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 5,261.40. Benchmarks in Singapore and New Zealand also declined, while Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia gained.
WALL STREET: Investors sold traditional safe-play stocks such as phone companies and utilities as they pored over earnings for clues about the trajectory of the U.S. economy. Analysts say companies are struggling to meet profit expectations. General Motors rose 1.5 percent after profit more than doubled while Mattel fell 5.8 percent on disappointing sales of Barbie dolls. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 113.75 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,982.52. The Standard & Poor's 500 index shed 10.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,091.48. The Nasdaq composite index lost 2.24 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,945.89.
ANALYST'S TAKE: With little improvement in the U.S. economy and the S&P close to its all-time high, "some retreat is needed for bullishness to sustain," said Bernard Aw of IG in a report. "Having said that, the lack of a strong improvement in the economic outlook raises questions whether the stock rally will go on. In my view, equities may find it difficult to push higher from recent levels."
EUROPE: German's DAX was up 0.2 percent on Thursday, while France's CAC 40 was down 0.1 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.2 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 61 cents to $43.79 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1 on Thursday to close at $43.18. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 60 cents to $45.13 in London. It fell $1.27 the previous session to $44.53.
CURRENCY: The dollar advanced to 109.48 yen from Thursday's 109.44 yen. The euro rose to $1.1303 from $1.1293.